Merrifield, a 33-year-old veteran, recently missed the Royals’ latest trip to Toronto due to his vaccination status. However, as reported by Pete Grathoff of The Kansas City Star, Merrifield was quoted, “(If) something happens and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada and the postseason, maybe that changes.”. You’d have to assume this is now the case, as Whit has a shot at a deep postseason run.
The newest Blue Jay is possibly in line to play a significant amount, as George Springer’s health continues to be a topic of conversation. Merrifield has played six games in centre field so far this season. If Springer finds himself on a brief IL stint in order to give his elbow a breather, it’s imaginable that Merrifield could earn a large share of starts in the outfield alongside Raimel Tapia.
While being a second-baseman for the majority of his career, Merrifield’s outfield peripherals look encouraging. With a sprint speed and outs above average both in the 83rd and 84th percentile respectively, it appears as though Merrifield can handle centre.
At the plate, the Jays got a grinder. He limits his strikeouts, ranking in the 88th percentile in K%. While he’s not often set down on strikes, he struggles to make hard contact. This has led to a career-worst offensive season thus far, earning a .240/.290/.352 slash line. Of note, however, is that Merrifield is coming off of a productive July. A .286/.345/.481 slash line last month with four stolen bases mixed in is something the Blue Jays are hoping to see more of.
The two prospects sent to Kansas City didn’t carry a lot of weight within the Blue Jays system. Samad Taylor posted a .763 OPS through 70 games in AAA. Castillo is the more known of the two, as he pitched a fair share of meaningful innings over the last two months between the MLB and AAA.
Expect Whit to see time around the diamond and put up competitive at-bats. Spotrac has Merrifield under contract through 2024.