MLB: The most valuable right fielders of 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a catch on the wall on a hit by Howie Kendrick #47 of the Washington Nationals for an out in the fourth inning of game five of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a catch on the wall on a hit by Howie Kendrick #47 of the Washington Nationals for an out in the fourth inning of game five of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images) /

6. Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals, $9.694 million value; $1 million salary

Perhaps the most interesting Royal, Merrifield is a Rorschach Test for what you value in a MLB ballplayer.

He batted .302 with a .348 on base average and a league-leading 206 hits in a league-leading 681 official at bats. That’s the upside. The downside is you’re looking at a player entering his age 31 season who hasn’t really established a position yet. Merrifield divided his time between second base, right, center, first base and left.

The 4.0 WAR Merrifield generated, sixth best at the position, was worth $7.493 million. His total of five assists was held down by his numerous excursions around the diamond. That added just $545,000 to his total.

Merrifield’s most reliable asset was his readiness to play. He got in 1,332 innings in 2019, best of all the positional qualifiers, and equating to $1.656 million.

There has been casual discussion about the idea of Merrifield moving to another team, but it seems unlikely that anything is coming of that. Any acquiring team would be taking on a contract through 2023, although it would be doing so on terms that sound very team-friendly. Merrifield is owed $5 million this coming season but only rising to $10.5 million by its termination.