Whit Merrifield
Whit Merrifield
30-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Kansas City Royals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Merrifield had plenty of skeptics after his out-of-nowhere 19-homer, 34-steal campaign in 2017, but the 30-year-old quieted his doubters and surpassed even the most optimistic projections. Though he noticed a minor power drop and a downturn in RBI largely fueled by the lack of talent flanking him, Merrifield improved by just about every other measure. Most of his value came from his .304 average and 45 stolen bases, with his production rendered more significant by the MLB-wide mean in both categories reaching their lowest levels since 1972. A .352 BABIP helped Merrifield uphold the lofty average, but he created some of his own good fortune by steadily raising his line-drive (29.8%) and hard-hit (36.9%) rates while posting a Statcast Sprint Speed that ranked in the 91st percentile. The team context around Merrifield won't be much better in 2019, but it may only further embolden manager Ned Yost to give him the green light to run. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a four-year, $16.25 million contract extension with the Royals in January of 2019. Contract includes a $10.5 million team option ($750,000 buyout) for 2023.
Crosses home three times
2BKansas City Royals
September 17, 2019
Merrifield went 2-for-5 with three runs Monday in the Royals' 6-5 win over the Athletics.
ANALYSIS
Merrifield hasn't been running much lately -- he has three steals in five attempts since Aug. 1 -- but he's maintained his high-contact ways throughout the campaign and is on track for a second straight season with an average above .300. The 30-year-old has banged out two hits in each of his last three games and has accrued a .371/.391/.516 slash line thus far in September.
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
111
7
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
40
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+10%
OPS vs LHP
2019
Even Split
2018
 
 
+26%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .859 536 91 18 55 35 .306 .354 .504
Since 2017vs Right .781 1536 182 29 157 64 .296 .345 .436
2019vs Left .814 208 34 8 28 10 .280 .327 .487
2019vs Right .810 527 71 8 46 10 .311 .357 .453
2018vs Left .945 197 34 5 15 18 .357 .406 .538
2018vs Right .750 510 54 7 45 27 .282 .352 .398
2017vs Left .800 131 23 5 12 7 .273 .321 .479
2017vs Right .780 499 57 14 66 27 .292 .325 .455
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+5%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+4%
OPS on Road
2018
Even Split
2017
 
 
+25%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .821 1025 140 22 112 54 .305 .355 .466
Since 2017Away .782 1047 133 25 100 45 .292 .340 .442
2019Home .794 361 53 4 34 12 .307 .352 .442
2019Away .828 374 52 12 40 8 .298 .345 .483
2018Home .804 347 46 5 33 28 .307 .370 .434
2018Away .808 360 42 7 27 17 .300 .365 .443
2017Home .871 317 41 13 45 14 .300 .344 .528
2017Away .698 313 39 6 33 20 .276 .304 .394
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Stat Review
How does Whit Merrifield compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.36
 
BB Rate
6.1%
 
K Rate
17.1%
 
BABIP
.350
 
ISO
.160
 
AVG
.302
 
OBP
.348
 
SLG
.463
 
OPS
.811
 
wOBA
.352
 
Exit Velocity
86.9 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
38.2%
 
Barrels/PA
2.6%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Whit Merrifield
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
3 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
DraftKings MLB: Sunday Picks
20 days ago
As Martin Perez is scheduled for start for the Twins and recently struggled against the Royals, Mike Barner likes Jorge Soler and crew to once again punish the lefty.
DraftKings MLB: Sunday Picks
27 days ago
Every MLB day seems to involve picking on the Tigers' weaknesses, and today's no different with Mike Barner offering a group of opposing White Sox hitters.
FanDuel MLB: Sunday Breakdown
27 days ago
Randal Grichuk has dominated the Yankees this year and Sasha Yodashkin says that run should continue today.
MLB Barometer: Risers & Fallers
33 days ago
Erik Halterman looks at the ups and downs this week in baseball, including Tampa Bay's Austin Meadows, who is breaking out in a big way.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
Merrifield led the American League in stolen bases last season despite spending the first couple weeks in the minors, and he showed a surprising power stroke after hitting a mere two homers in 332 plate appearances in 2016. A dramatic leap in flyball rate -- from 29.8 percent to 40.5 percent -- and correction in his HR/FB (and likely a new baseball) fueled the power breakout, although the hard-hit data suggests Merrifield overachieved. Moreover, Merrifield hit 13 of his 19 homers at home, and Kauffman Stadium was the fourth-worst park for homers last season; simply put, he will have a hard time repeating that home-run output in 2018. He doesn't walk much at all, but Merrifield puts the ball in play consistently (14.0 percent strikeout rate), and that skill along with his speed should help Merrifield stick atop the Royals' batting order. Unfortunately, there will likely be a significantly worse team around him with so many of Kansas City's top players expected to leave via free agency this winter.
Merrifield was deceivingly solid last season, but his future prospects are dimmed by the reality that his performance was buoyed by a high batting average with little in the way of peripheral stats, including just a 5.7 percent walk rate and a .109 ISO. The 28-year-old is likely to be soft on upside, and a repeat of last year's half-season performance over a full campaign would be a success. Whether the Royals allow the Swiss Army knife to accumulate that much playing time is another issue altogether. Positional versatility might be the biggest feather in Merrifield's cap as well as his greatest utility to fantasy owners in 2017, as it not only allows for some roster flexibility, but it also gives him more opportunities for playing time. However, he's unlikely to be more than a placeholder for the Royals, or for fantasy owners in 2017.
More Fantasy News
Extends hit streak to 11
2BKansas City Royals
August 29, 2019
Merrifield went 3-for-5 with two runs scored Thursday against the Athletics.
ANALYSIS
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Extends hitting streak
2BKansas City Royals
August 29, 2019
Merrifield went 2-for-3 with two runs in Wednesday's 6-4 win over the Athletics. He also reached base after being hit by a pitch.
ANALYSIS
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Records 15th homer
2BKansas City Royals
August 21, 2019
Merrifield went 1-for-4 with a solo home run Wednesday against the Orioles.
ANALYSIS
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Smacks inside-the-park homer
2BKansas City Royals
August 9, 2019
Merrifield went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk Friday night against the Tigers.
ANALYSIS
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Notches two more hits
2BKansas City Royals
July 29, 2019
Merrifield went 2-for-5 with a double and run Sunday in the Royals' 9-6 win over the Indians.
ANALYSIS
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