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.
Swipes bag
2BKansas City Royals
July 6, 2019
Merrifield went 1-for-3 with a walk and stolen base in a 6-0 loss to the Nationals on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
The 30-year-old hasn't stolen a lot of bags recently, but he's still getting on base plenty. The opportunities for steals should come. He's 13-for-20 in stolen-base attempts with a .307 average, 11 home runs, 44 RBI and 62 runs in 378 at-bats this season.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
60
7
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
24
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+11%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+1%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+26%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .878 454 79 17 46 32 .306 .357 .522
Since 2017vs Right .788 1310 155 25 137 61 .297 .348 .440
2019vs Left .857 126 22 7 19 7 .261 .317 .539
2019vs Right .862 301 44 4 26 7 .329 .379 .484
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
 
 
+4%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+15%
OPS on Road
2018
Even Split
2017
 
 
+25%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .828 875 123 20 96 51 .303 .356 .472
Since 2017Away .796 889 111 22 87 42 .295 .345 .451
2019Home .800 211 36 2 18 9 .301 .351 .449
2019Away .921 216 30 9 27 5 .316 .370 .551
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 this season's data (min 200 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
0.39
 
BB Rate
7.0%
 
K Rate
18.0%
 
BABIP
.359
 
ISO
.191
 
AVG
.309
 
OBP
.361
 
SLG
.500
 
OPS
.861
 
wOBA
.371
 
Exit Velocity
87.5 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
41.5%
 
Barrels/PA
3.4%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Royals Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Whit Merrifield
DraftKings MLB: Sunday Picks
Yesterday
With an ailing Jake Arrieta on the mound, Mike Barner doesn't see why a few Nationals' bats - including Juan Soto - should struggle today.
FanDuel MLB: Friday Breakdown
10 days ago
Adam Zdroik prefers a Red Sox stack Friday in a soft matchup against Gregory Soto and the Tigers.
The Z Files: First Half Takeaways
10 days ago
Todd Zola has some takeaways from last week's list of top first-half earners and finds that rostering contributors with position flex like Ketel Marte has been even more important this season.
The Z Files: First Half Fantasy All-Stars
16 days ago
Todd Zola looks at the top first-half players by earnings and profit and finds that few players have provided a better return on investment than Mariners slugger Daniel Vogelbach.
FanDuel MLB: Friday Breakdown
17 days ago
Adam Zdroik recommends Anthony Rendon as part of a Nats stack Friday against the lowly Tigers.
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
Piling up hits
2BKansas City Royals
July 3, 2019
Merrifield went 3-for-5 with a run scored Tuesday in the Royals' 9-5 loss to the Indians.
ANALYSIS
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Three-game multi-hit streak
2BKansas City Royals
June 26, 2019
Merrifield went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run Tuesday in the Royals' 8-6 win over the Indians.
ANALYSIS
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Homers twice, plates six
2BKansas City Royals
June 19, 2019
Merrifield went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, six RBI and three runs scored in Tuesday's rout of the Mariners.
ANALYSIS
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Swipes 11th bag
2BKansas City Royals
June 16, 2019
Merrifield went 1-for-4 with a walk, one RBI and a stolen base in Sunday's 8-6 win over Minnesota.
ANALYSIS
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Multi-hit run comes to end
2BKansas City Royals
June 9, 2019
Merrifield went hitless and struck out twice in four at-bats Sunday in the Royals' 5-2 loss to the White Sox.
ANALYSIS
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