In his age-33 season, Whit Merrifield is putting together career-worsts all around the field for the Kansas City Royals. His bat has regre sed a lot, his fielding has taken a hit after last year and he isn't as proficient on the basepaths as he once was. Everyone has heard Rex Hudler talk about how Merrifield has been unlucky all year at the plate, but that isn't the story here. Let's look into why he's struggled mightily at the plate.To start, here is Merrifield's slash line on the year: .237/.289/.339 with an OPS of .628. That isn't good for any hitter, let alone a leadoff man. To further the fac, that he isn't ideal in that leadoff <a href="https://www.clindiansshop.com/cleveland-indians/satchel-paige-jersey
">Satchel Paige Jersey</a> role, Merrifield is walking just 7.4% of the time. For him, however, that isn't terrible. The only thing he does well as a "leadoff" hitter is not strikeout, as his K% is 14.6. What's the key to his regre sion? Is it <a href="https://www.clindiansshop.com/hoodie
">Cleveland Indians Hoodie</a> Merrifield's approach, or is it something else?Looking at for Merrifield this year, it doesn't show a big enough difference from last year to this year to explain his poor season. The same goes for his , even with an uptick in solid hit%. His hard-hit% is low (30.2%) but it's normal for him to not hit the ball hard at a good rate. Even the expected stats, xBA and xSLG, are the same as last year. Where exactly did Merrifield regre s, then?The main culprit is . This year, Merrifield hasn't hit anything particularly well. Against fastballs, he is posting a .249 average while not hitting for any power, either (.391 SLG). He hasn't hit offspeed or breaking stuff well at all, hitting .248 against breaking balls and .171 against offspeed offerings while having SLG below .305.Scroll to ContinueMerrifield doesn't hit anything well according to run values. He is around minus-1 or neutral on everything except four-seam fastballs and sinkers. Both of these have run values of minus-4. Merrifield has either struggled or excelled against 4-seamers in his career a career-high run value of 13 and a career-low of minus-7 but the i sue is that he's struggling with the sinker. He has always been able to hit sinkers in his career, always having a run value of at least four and po se sing seasons of 11 and 17. This may be due to Merrifield's horrendous start, though, so let's look at his monthly splits.Merrifield had one of the worst Aprils a player could <a href="https://www.clindiansshop.com/cleveland-indians/michael-brantley-jersey
">Michael Brantley Jersey</a> have, posting a slash line of .141/.190/.179 with an OPS of .370. To add to how bad he was in April, he had a wRC+ of 2 98% worse than the league average. It would be an understatement to say he was bad in April; he is equal to or worse than every slump on this .Did he get better in the following months? The short answer is yes, yet he still wasn't good. In May, Merrifield slashed .264/.289/.384 (.700 OPS) with a 93 wRC+. June was not good to him, as he slashed .252/.319/.301 with a .620 OPS and 78 wRC+. Then July came around, and Whit has been borderline unstoppable with a slash line of .300/.378/.550 with a .928 OPS and a 160 <a href="https://www.clindiansshop.com/cleveland-indians/kenny-lofton-jersey
">Kenny Lofton Jersey</a> wRC+. Talk about good timing with the trade deadline around the corner, right? Before we get to that, though, let's talk about his defense.Merrifield has regre sed in the field after a stellar year defensively in 2021. At second base, he has a DRS of minus-2 and an OAA of minus-2. Both numbers regre sed immensely from last year. In the outfield, he's been about normal for his standard he isn't a great outfielder with a DRS of minus-2 and OAA of 2. The defense at second base is a concern, as he has always been at least a slightly above-average defender at the keystone.Another thing that has regre sed for Merrifield is his BsR (baserunning runs above average). Currently, it stands at 2.2. That's still good, but he has a couple of seasons of 7-plus BsR and projections say that he will have anywhere from 0.8 to 1.3 BsR for the rest of the year. Not great.With the trade deadline coming up, Merrifield's days in Kansas City are likely numbered for one reason or another. He is still a super-utility guy who can hit a good amount when he gets going but <a href="https://www.clindiansshop.com/cleveland-indians/yonder-alonso-jersey
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