For Eric Hosmer And Whit Merrifield:
An exchange of batted ball profiles. Eric Hosmer is a 6’4″ 230 pound first baseman that hit 58.9% of his batted balls on the ground last season. That’s not very good when you have a 93.7 mph average exit velocity, which was the 14th highest in MLB last season. Meanwhile, Whit Merrifield is a 6’0″ 195 pound middle infielder with speed that hit 44.7% of his batted balls on the ground in 2016.
Something’s wrong here. It’s Merrifield that has the quickness to beat out ground balls for hits, and Hosmer that sports over-the-wall power.
Time for the ol’ switcheroo. Hey, Santa, this one is easy. All you need to do is swap batted ball profiles, not a complete body swap like Freaky Friday. I know Merrifield is trying to bulk up this winter to hit the ball with more authority. But, hitting it on the ground and (perhaps) improving his on base percentage will still let him win a job at second base.
On the other hand, if Hosmer can hit 29.8% fly balls like Merrifield did in 2016, then he might surpass the 30 dinger barrier in 2017. Heck, Hosmer could become a true cleanup hitter if he could elevate the ball on a regular basis.
C’mon Santa, this one isn’t that hard.