South Carolina baseball fans will never forget the name Whit Merrifield. In addition to being one of the best bat-to-ball hitters in the history of the Gamecock baseball program, Merrifield was responsible for driving in the game-winning, walk-off run in the team’s first national championship in the 2010 College World Series.
Merrifield took a few years to earn his way up to the Big Leagues, but after finally getting the call-up to the Kansas City Royals, he has become a big-time player at the professional player. A three-time American League All-Star, Merrifield has led the league in hits (2x), doubles, triples, stolen bases (3x), and sacrifice flies while being one of the most versatile defensive players in the game.
An All-Star again in 2023 with the Toronto Blue Jays, Whit the Hit will be in line for a nice payday this offseason as he hits free agency. His price tag might have just gotten a little bump up, as well, as news came out on Thursday that Whit Merrifield is a finalist for a Silver Slugger award. Merrifield is one of four players nominated as a finalist for the award as a utility player.
The second base/outfield hybrid is joined by Brandon Drury (2B/OF, Los Angeles Angels), Gunnar Henderson (3B/SS, Baltimore Orioles), and Isaac Paredes (3B/1B/2B, Tampa Bay Rays) as nominees for the American League Silver Slugger award for utility players. Brandon Drury (2B) and Isaac Paredes (3B) have also been nominated as Silver Slugger finalists at their primary positions.
The Silver Slugger winners will be announced next Thursday on MLB Network at 6:00.
If the South Carolina baseball legend wins the honor, it will be the first Silver Slugger win of his career, though many believe that he would have won the award earlier in his career had the “utility” designation existed prior to its creation before the 2022 season.