Whit Merrifield

Whit Merrifield

35-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Philadelphia Phillies
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Merrifield is a tough player to pin down for 2024. He broke into the majors in 2016 at the age of 27 and became a fantasy darling on account of his high average and speed. He hit above .300 twice and totaled as many as 45 steals in a season. After Merrifield's production fell off in 2022, the Royals shipped him north of the border to Toronto. He finished below league average by wRC+ last season (93), but the speedy 2B/OF hit 11 homers and stole 26 bases to once again put himself in the good graces of fantasy managers. Both sides declined his mutual option for 2024. Already entering his age-35 season, Merrifield is on the wrong side of the aging curve, and it's fair to wonder when his speed will evaporate. His power has always been modest and Merrifield can safely be categorized as a low-OBP guy given his career 6.2% walk rate. He makes consistent contact, but the quality of that contact is declining. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#266
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Phillies in February of 2024. Contract includes up to $1.6 million in incentives and $8 million team option ($1 million buyout) for 2025.
Replaces resting Sosa in lineup
2BPhiladelphia Phillies
June 12, 2024
Merrifield will start at second base and bat sixth in Wednesday's game against the Red Sox.
ANALYSIS
Merrifield made three consecutive starts in left field last week while the Phillies faced three left-handed pitchers in a row and went 2-for-11 with a home run and four RBI over those contests. Though he still looks to be a short-side platoon player for Philadelphia, Merrifield will re-enter the lineup Wednesday against a righty (Nick Pivetta), filling in for a resting Edmundo Sosa in the middle infield.
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Batting Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
2
2
3
2
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
3
1
4
7
5
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
2024
 
 
+24%
OPS vs LHP
2023
 
 
+1%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+8%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022vs Left .690 367 42 11 40 14 .240 .286 .404
Since 2022vs Right .669 911 111 14 94 34 .260 .312 .357
2024vs Left .632 62 9 3 6 4 .203 .242 .390
2024vs Right .511 74 8 0 3 2 .177 .301 .210
2023vs Left .692 147 13 3 15 8 .259 .299 .393
2023vs Right .702 445 53 8 52 18 .277 .324 .379
2022vs Left .711 158 20 5 19 2 .238 .291 .420
2022vs Right .658 392 50 6 39 14 .255 .301 .357
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+17%
OPS on Road
2024
 
 
+62%
OPS on Road
2023
 
 
+16%
OPS on Road
2022
 
 
+11%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022Home .619 601 63 8 50 23 .241 .290 .329
Since 2022Away .725 677 90 17 84 25 .267 .318 .407
2024Home .433 65 5 2 4 2 .148 .188 .246
2024Away .702 71 12 1 5 4 .233 .352 .350
2023Home .646 281 33 4 27 15 .255 .302 .344
2023Away .748 311 33 7 40 11 .288 .331 .417
2022Home .637 255 25 2 19 6 .249 .302 .335
2022Away .705 295 45 9 39 10 .251 .295 .410
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Whit Merrifield compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.93
 
BB Rate
9.6%
 
K Rate
10.3%
 
BABIP
.192
 
ISO
.107
 
AVG
.190
 
OBP
.274
 
SLG
.298
 
OPS
.572
 
wOBA
.262
 
Exit Velocity
83.1 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
23.2%
 
Barrels/PA
2.9%
 
Expected BA
.227
 
Expected SLG
.315
 
Sprint Speed
23.8 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
43.0%
 
Line Drive %
16.8%
 
Fly Ball %
40.2%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Whit Merrifield See More
Lineup Lowdown: National League
Yesterday
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11 days ago
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Weekly Hitter Rankings: Tough Decisions
19 days ago
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Weekly Hitter Rankings: Home Cooking
26 days ago
Yordan Alvarez and the Houston Astros get to take aim at all right-handers next week, and Todd Zola delivers his Weekly Hitter Rankings with some teams having favorable matchups on their upcoming schedule.
Latest Fantasy Rumors
Close to picking team
2BFree Agent
February 15, 2024
Merrifield has received interest from five teams and is expected to sign by the end of the weekend, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports.
ANALYSIS
The identity of the clubs isn't clear, but Merrifield's name has been connected to the White Sox and Red Sox this offseason. Boston might no longer be an option since it added Vaughn Grissom. Merrifield slashed .272/.318/.382 with 11 homers and 26 steals for Toronto in 2023 and can play second base as well as all three outfield spots.
See All MLB Rumors
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
Merrifield was the subject of trade speculation since he broke out for the Royals in 2017, and the team finally dealt him to the Blue Jays last season. It's really a move that came a couple years late, as the veteran utility man had a career-worst .642 OPS for Kansas City prior to the deal. He fared better in Toronto with a .769 OPS in 44 games, so he's heading into 2023 with a slightly more positive outlook. The 34-year-old closed out last year with 11 home runs, 58 RBI, 70 runs and 16 stolen bases, with the steals representing a significant dip from his 2021 production (40 thefts). Joining the Blue Jays' potent lineup should provide a boost to Merrifield's counting stats in 2023, and he'll likely open spring training as the favorite to start at second base. Even if he does continue to rebound from his poor first half of 2021, Merrifield shouldn't be expected to rediscover his All-Star form from 2018 and 2019, when he had a 115 wRC+.
Since he's started every single game over the past three seasons, Merrifield has provided a bountiful totals in the count stats, most notably runs scored and stolen bases. His 40 steals last season put him second in the league behind only Starling Marte. Previously, he'd stated that he quits stealing bases once the Royals are out of postseason contention and that approach can be seen with only two steals in September along with no home runs. His power has been slowly on the decline, with his .117 ISO and 5.0% HR/FB last year being his lowest since his rookie season. While he's still hitting the ball hard -- Merrifield's 107.8 mph MaxEV was a four-year high -- he's putting more balls on the ground (40.7 GB% in 2021). The Royals will keep playing him, but his real-world usefulness as a hitter is becoming suspect after he posted a .711 OPS last season (.811 OPS in 2019). His playing time is likely safe for 2022, but the decline is happening fast.
Two-hit Whit continues to be a steady producer for fantasy players. It says something when a .282 batting average is a hitter's career-worst effort as was the case for Merrifield in 2020. The low average is not due to him striking out because his 12.5 K% last season was a career-best. It is just that Merrifield puts a lot of balls into play with a high-contact and declining-walk-rate approach, so his batted-ball fortunes pull his average one way or the other. Both in 2017 and 2020, his hit rate was at league average and his batting average was in the .280s. In 2018 and 2019, he had more dying quails, duck snorts and seeing-eye singles which pushed his batting average north of .300. He is a threat to run any time he is on base, and he is seemingly on base twice a game. Models of statistical consistency and health like this are rare; roster with confidence that he continues his course.
Merrifield ranked among the top 40 hitters in rotisserie baseball last season, but he was a second-rounder on average in the NFBC last March because of the 45 he posted in the SB column the year before and was a bit of a letdown at that acquisition cost. He was thrown out on the basepaths as many times as he was in 2018, in 25 fewer attempts. Perhaps because of his diminished efficiency, Merrifield's attempts were scaled back as the season wore on (20 attempts in the first half, 10 after the break). While Merrifield is relatively new to the scene, he's already going to be 31 on Opening Day and speed is usually the first skill to go as a player advances to this stage on the aging curve. The rest of the numbers look pretty safe given his bat-to-ball skills and expected volume, but if his SB chances are reduced further under new manager Mike Matheny, Merrifield will fall closer to the pack at second base.
Merrifield had plenty of skeptics after his out-of-nowhere 19-homer, 34-steal campaign in 2017, but the 30-year-old quieted his doubters and surpassed even the most optimistic projections. Though he noticed a minor power drop and a downturn in RBI largely fueled by the lack of talent flanking him, Merrifield improved by just about every other measure. Most of his value came from his .304 average and 45 stolen bases, with his production rendered more significant by the MLB-wide mean in both categories reaching their lowest levels since 1972. A .352 BABIP helped Merrifield uphold the lofty average, but he created some of his own good fortune by steadily raising his line-drive (29.8%) and hard-hit (36.9%) rates while posting a Statcast Sprint Speed that ranked in the 91st percentile. The team context around Merrifield won't be much better in 2019, but it may only further embolden manager Ned Yost to give him the green light to run.
Merrifield led the American League in stolen bases last season despite spending the first couple weeks in the minors, and he showed a surprising power stroke after hitting a mere two homers in 332 plate appearances in 2016. A dramatic leap in flyball rate -- from 29.8 percent to 40.5 percent -- and correction in his HR/FB (and likely a new baseball) fueled the power breakout, although the hard-hit data suggests Merrifield overachieved. Moreover, Merrifield hit 13 of his 19 homers at home, and Kauffman Stadium was the fourth-worst park for homers last season; simply put, he will have a hard time repeating that home-run output in 2018. He doesn't walk much at all, but Merrifield puts the ball in play consistently (14.0 percent strikeout rate), and that skill along with his speed should help Merrifield stick atop the Royals' batting order. Unfortunately, there will likely be a significantly worse team around him with so many of Kansas City's top players expected to leave via free agency this winter.
Merrifield was deceivingly solid last season, but his future prospects are dimmed by the reality that his performance was buoyed by a high batting average with little in the way of peripheral stats, including just a 5.7 percent walk rate and a .109 ISO. The 28-year-old is likely to be soft on upside, and a repeat of last year's half-season performance over a full campaign would be a success. Whether the Royals allow the Swiss Army knife to accumulate that much playing time is another issue altogether. Positional versatility might be the biggest feather in Merrifield's cap as well as his greatest utility to fantasy owners in 2017, as it not only allows for some roster flexibility, but it also gives him more opportunities for playing time. However, he's unlikely to be more than a placeholder for the Royals, or for fantasy owners in 2017.
More Fantasy News
Back on bench Wednesday
2BPhiladelphia Phillies
May 15, 2024
Merrifield is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Mets.
ANALYSIS
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Starting at second base Monday
2BPhiladelphia Phillies
May 6, 2024
Merrifield will start at second base and bat eighth in Monday's contest against the Giants, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Homers off bench Saturday
2BPhiladelphia Phillies
May 4, 2024
Merrifield went 1-for-2 with a solo homer and a walk in Saturday's win over the Giants.
ANALYSIS
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Cracks first homer
2BPhiladelphia Phillies
April 20, 2024
Merrifield went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Friday's 7-0 win over the White Sox.
ANALYSIS
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Drawing another start versus lefty
2BPhiladelphia Phillies
April 1, 2024
Merrifield is starting in left field and batting eighth for Monday's contest versus the Reds, Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.
ANALYSIS
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