KC Royals: Whit Merrifield ranked as a top 5 center fielder

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

KC Royals star Whit Merrifield’s transition to center field hasn’t resulted in a loss of respect. He ranks as MLB.com’s fifth-best at the position right now.

As the 2020 MLB regular season approaches, sites are beginning to list their top players at each position. MLB Network is slowly unveiling its “Top 10 Right Now” series, with lists being released every Saturday. Recently, KC Royals center fielder Whit Merrifield was ranked among the best at his position.

Taking home the No. 5 spot before playing a single game as the full-time man in center, this goes to show just how much respect Merrifield has earned over the last few years. Debuting later than most and churning out inning after inning at second base, he’s proved to be a star super-utility player.

Oh yeah, he’s also led the league in hits for consecutive seasons as well. Making his first All-Star appearance in 2019, this was the culmination of years of hard work for Merrifield. He posted a .302/.348/.463 line with 16 home runs and 74 RBIs on the year, showing just how well-rounded he is.

It remains to be seen just how effective Merrifield will be as a center fielder in the long-term, but he is more than capable of holding his own at multiple positions. With a solid arm, good instincts and great speed, there isn’t much he can’t do. The highlight plays aren’t always there, but the routine ones sure are — and the production at the plate is as consistent as it comes in the MLB.

Ahead of Merrifield on the list were Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, George Springer and Ramón Laureano. Behind him were Starling Marte, Lorenzo Cain (a former Royal), Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo and Brett Gardner.

Next. Will the KC Royals add a free agent starting pitcher?. dark

Look for Merrifield to carve out even more of a name for himself as he plays one of the league’s flashiest positions. A few diving grabs or leaping stops at the wall could see him rise in next year’s rankings as analysts observe just how talented he is.