Whit Merrifield is underrated. He plays on a bad team, and not many people know about him. He had an unlucky year on defense, he's super fast, and his hitting is above average. Continue reading to find out exactly what makes Whit Merrifield so underrated.
Merrifield only made his MLB debut in 2016 at age 27. He was drafted in the 9th round of the 2010 draft. He was never much of a big prospect. Players like Mike Trout are known for also being big time prospects.
It took him a while to rise through the Royals' organization, but he finally reached the majors in 2016. He was okay, and he didn't make a big impact. In 2017 he played in 145 games, totaling 630 PA. This time, he led the league in steals and he had a high average.
Timeout. One note to remember, walks have never really been Whit's thing. Alright, back to the article.
He only drew 29 BB in 2017, but he did improve that in 2018 as he drew 61 walks. In 2018 Merrifield led the league in hits. Sure, he played in 158 games. But while leading the league in hits, he also swiped 45 bags for the MLB lead. He doubled 43 times and only struck out 16.1% of the time. He also had a .367 OBP and an .806 OPS. In 2019 he stole 20 bags, led the league in triples, led the league in AB, led the league in hits, and finally had a .348 OBP. He also had an .811 OPS.
He mainly played 2B, but he has played every single position in his career except or C, P, and SS. In his career, he's been an average fielder, not hurting his team by fielding but not helping them either. His WAR of 3.7 suggests that he's an above average player.
So why don't people know about him? Let me ask you a question. Besides Whit Merrifield, how many players can you name on the Royals? Or the Tigers? Or the Orioles? Not many, because they're all bad teams. He doesn't get exposure, causing people to not know about him. He wasn't around for the 2015 World Series, and his only chance of exposure was the 2019 All-Star game where he went simply because he's on the Royals.
In order for him to gain exposure, one of 2 things need to happen. One, he needs to get traded, or two the Royals need to be good. None of those 2 things will happen in the near future. Whit Merrifield will always be undervalued and underrated.