How did he get here?: Signed as undrafted free agent
Stats: 5'8" 160 lbs, Bats: Right Throws: Right
Hometown/Birthplace: Douglasville, GA
Age as of April 1, 2011: 23
2010 Men of the Match: 2
Merritt was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama-Birmingham, where he enjoyed a stellar career, hitting a career .309.
Merritt's professional career got off to a rip-roaring start, hitting .313/.405/.594 in his first eight games with the Gastros. Then things got bad in July (.589 OPS), and then they got better in August. Merritt finished out his last ten games with a six-game hitting streak, and hit .314/.455/.657, with two doubles, two triples, and two homers.
In the field, Merritt saw all of his time (56 games) at shortstop, committing 21 errors in 276 chances for a .924 Fld%. He also stole 12 bases in 17 attempts (70.6%)
What went right?
Hitting against RHPs. Merritt hit .275/.418/.475 against righties - with 15 of his 20 XBHs. 23 of his 31 walks were against RHPs, as well.
Away games. Merritt's OPS was 109 points higher on the road than at home, hitting .272/.402/.446 away from Pioneer Park.
RISP. In 44ABs, Merritt hit .295/.460/.500 - for an OPS 180 points higher than his bases-empty OPS.
What went wrong?
July didn't treat Merritt so well. After starting his career 10x32 with 6XBHs, he hit .176/.330/.259 with 4XBHs in 25 July games. His OPS in June and August were both over .900, with that July OPS coming in at .589.
Lefties. In 82ABs against southpaws, Merritt hit .207/.283/.341, though two of his four homers came against LHPs. He also struck out in 27 of those 82ABs (32.9%).
Appy Astros says:
He made a few spectacular plays and most of the routine ones. He did everything you would want from a short stop... He played his position well, was a good teammate and provided some organizational depth.
I'll agree. Next stop would probably be Tri-City, or Lexington in a back-up role.