Royals: Positional battle, Whit Merrifield on the move?

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Kansas City Royals, Whit Merrifield
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals all-star second baseman is an obvious choice to continue in the position, but he may see more time in the canyon at Kauffman Stadium in the future.

Whit Merrifield

Surprising right? Of course not. Whit Merrifield is the obvious go-to for “who will play second.” Though in 2019, that obvious answer started to become not so clear anymore.

Offensively, Whit had another outstanding year. He played in 162 games, recorded 206 hits, 74 RBIs, 10 triples, 41 doubles, 16 home runs and slashed .302/.348/.463. It’s easy to see that Whit Merrifield is no slouch. Whit is a valuable player for any roster, and the Royals are lucky to have him tied up on a club-friendly contract.

Along with his top-notch offense, Whit also comes with a large defensive presence that could spread across just about any position on the field. While Whit typically plays second base, he saw an increase in his outfield time this year. Whit started 76 games at second base in 2019 and started 73 in the outfield.

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At second base, Whit saw a bit of a decrease in his fielding percentage, holding a .979 over those few games. While maybe a little lower than some, Whit has a habit of making plays that others typically wouldn’t make. He did fair a little better in the outfield, holding a .988 fielding percentage over all outfield positions. It’s no secret that Whit is good defensively in multiple spots though, as he is a super-utility player.

The increase in time spent in the outfield might lead one to wonder, though, if the rumors and talk of a permanent move to outfield won’t soon become reality. Whit has gained more time in the outfield year after year, and the Royals brought up a player who looks to be a possible replacement, leading us to the next second base candidate.