Kansas City Royals: Whit Merrifield is coming through

Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /

Riding a 19-game hitting streak, Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield is turning into one of the team’s most reliable players.

The 2017 Kansas City Royals campaign has been pretty short on positive headlines. For most of the season, the team has not been playing well. That has led most analysts to talk about the team selling off some of its top players to rebuild. However, on the other end of the scope, second baseman Whit Merrifield is stepping up and becoming a solid player.

Merrifield is currently riding a 19-game hit streak for the Royals. Not only is that the longest of the season for the club, it is the longest of the season for the entire league. The KC second baseman only has 39 games on his resume this year, but has already become one of the more productive players in the lineup.

As it stands, Whit Merrifield is first on the team in batting average at .307 and first for on base percentage at .360. He’s also fifth on the roster in both home runs and RBIs. In just a short amount of time, he has emerged as a quality bat for the Royals.

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However, the real key for the Royals here is that Merrifield is still a young player in the organization. He is under team control through the 2019 season. He has shown clear improvement over what was already a solid half season in 2016.

They Needed It

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His production is coming through at just the right time for the Royals too. Kansas City is teetering on the brink of either rebounding into the division race or falling completely off the radar. If KC can string together a few series wins, or (gasp!) even an actual winning streak of six to ten games, they will be back in the thick of things in the AL Central.

That would at least calm the talk of starting to trade off pieces, and also prove GM Dayton Moore right (again). Can they actually do that? I’m still a bit skeptical, but Whit Merrifield and a handful of others are starting  to provide a bit of a spark for this team.

The Kansas City Royals are not without players to build around for the future. There is still enough youthful talent on this roster that the Royals can avoid the drop off that so many fans fear is coming. Building around young guys like Whit Merrifield is a sound strategy for this team. Hopefully it works out.