Baumann: Whit Merrifield looks like the next David Eckstein, but better

From SABR member Michael Baumann at The Ringer on August 11, 2017:

Whit Merrifield’s greatest moment in baseball was supposed to be his last of any consequence.

Even on a College World Series-winning South Carolina team that had only one player drafted in the first three rounds—Jackie Bradley Jr.—Merrifield didn’t stand out. He was a 6-foot corner outfielder with the potential to be a grinder, which is what you say about a player when you can’t find anything nice to say about his tools. Merrifield seemed like a lock to kick around in the minor leagues for a few years, make it to Double-A, stall, and, at some point in his late 20s, decide he’d rather be a coach or a scout, or just go back to Columbia, South Carolina, and never pay for a beer again as long as he lived.

Merrifield lasted until the ninth round of the 2010 draft—269th overall, three picks ahead of a shortstop-conversion lottery ticket out of Stetson named Jacob deGrom—and signed with the Royals for $100,000. He didn’t break an .800 OPS in the minors until his third trip through Double-A. Merrifield played all three outfield positions and all four infield positions, splitting most of his time (a little more than 2,000 innings each) between second base and left field.

Read the full article here: https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2017/8/11/16131720/kansas-city-royals-whit-merrifield-david-eckstein

This page was last updated August 11, 2017 at 2:02 pm MST.