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2 months agoWhit Merrifield posted another great season for the Royals in 2019, slashing .302/.348/.463 with 16 HR and 20 SB in 735 PAs. Unfortunately, fantasy owners didn't get what they paid for. He slashed a similar .304/.367/.438 in 2018, but accompanied it with 45 steals. Worse, Merrifield was caught stealing 10 times in each campaign. That led to a great success rate of 82% in 2018, but just a 66% rate in 2019. His Statcast Sprint Speed declined somewhat year over year (28.6 ft./sec in '19, 29.0 in '18), but still ranked well above average. The big problem seems to be Merrifield himself, who was quoted as saying, “I made the conscious decision to sort of take it easy on my body” when asked about his running game in an interview published last September 14. The 30-year old isn't getting any younger, so banking on a return to form on the bases is probably a fool's errand. Merrifield still brings a strong batting average and valuable positional versatility (OF, 2B, and even 1B in some leagues) to the table, but it's tough to justify a 51.74 NFBC ADP for someone who doesn't offer elite power or speed. You might be better off investing such a high pick elsewhere.--Rick Lucks - RotoBaller
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