There has always been a debate on who are overrated and underrated players in baseball. When you think of the best hitters in the game, you think of guys like Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna Jr, and Cody Bellinger. However, there is one guy who has led all of MLB in hits for the past two seasons and has not received any credit for what he has done.
This player would be Royals IF/OF Whit Merrifield. Merrifield has proven to be one of the most consistent hitters in the game. Despite this, casual baseball fans have probably never heard of him. Here are a few ways Merrifield has been baseball’s most underrated player.
Stats Don’t Lie
Whit Merrifield was called up in 2016 by the Kansas City Royals and all he did was hit. He played in 81 games that year and he hit .283, with two home runs and 29 RBI’s. He then came back in 2017 and batted .288 with 19 home runs and 78 RBI’s in 145 games. Merrifield then became the Royals go-to lead-off hitter at the time. During this time, the term “two-hit-Whit” started to get thrown around. 2018 was no different, as he he hit .304. He did however have less home runs (12) and les RBI’s (60). However, he swiped a total of 45 bases during the 2018 campaign. In 2018, he led the league in hits with 192.
2019 was a big year for Merrifield, as he made his first All-Star game. While doing this, he led the league in hits for the second staight year with 206. Even though Merrifield led the league in hits, he did not receive a single vote for MVP. Now 10 games into 2020, Whit has not stepped off the gas. He has hit over .300, and has three homers and nine RBIs to begin the 2020 season.
Versatile In The Field
Merrifield has a gift that not many players can do on a daily bases. Merrfield started out primarily as a second-basemen. But overtime, he has shifted into the outfield but plays lots of infield as well. Throughout his career, he has played every position except for short-shop, catcher, and pitcher. Lots of teams have looked into trading for Merrifield because they like the way he can play several positions and field each of them very well.
With national media, you do not really see Whit Merrifield being featured on big-time networks. Throughout his time with the Kansas City Royals, the team has not yet made the postseason. This could be one of the reasons they don’t really highlight him. The Royals have not been featured like the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Cardinals, and many more on national television. The Royals are also one of the smallest markets in professional baseball. That being said, getting someone like Merrifield to be featured while the team is well under .500 is hard to do.
These are a couple of points as to why Whit Merrifield may be the most underrated player in baseball.
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