Kansas City Royals Prospect Review: Hot Hitters in April
By David Hill
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Whit Merrifield truly broke through last season for the Kansas City Royals. While he was decent in Northwest Arkansas, Merrifield caught fire once he was promoted to Omaha, posting a .340/.373/.474 batting line. In 76 games, Merrifield hit 28 doubles, stole eleven bases and exploded onto the scene.
That hot performance carried over through Spring Training, where Merrifield posted the third highest batting average of any Royal with fifteen or more at bats, putting himself into the conversation for the Royals fifth outfielder spot. Even though he was sent to Omaha, Merrifield has continued to hit, posting a .316/.373/.447 batting line and putting together a thirteen game hitting streak.
That hot start may be completely sustainable. While Whit Merrifield has a rather high .350 batting average on balls in play, his balls in play rates are just about league average. In fact, since Merrifield has hit a line drive on only 16.4% of the balls he has put in play, below the league average of 20.2%, there is a chance that Merrifield’s numbers could improve.
With his strong performance since being brought up to Omaha, Merrifield has been a player that a lot of Kansas City Royals fans have wanted to see get a chance at the major league level. If he continues to perform like this, that chance could come in the somewhat near future.