- Full name Tim Merritt
- Profile Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
A third-round pick last June, Merritt is extremely versatile both in terms of his tools and the positions he can play. He has good offensive potential for a middle infielder, and he bounced back from a lackluster junior season at South Alabama by raising his average 24 points once he switched from aluminum bats to wood. He has gap power and runs well enough to steal some bases. However, he could stand to be a little less aggressive at the plate. He played second base at short-season Everett because Jose Lopez was the primary shortstop. Merritt also saw time at shortstop and third base, and he played the outfield in college and with Team USA's college squad. Scouts are divided on whether he can play shortstop at higher levels. With Antonio Perez, Lopez and major league Rule 5 draft acquistion Luis Ugueto on hand, Merritt probably is destined for second base. Nevertheless, the Mariners will try to keep him at shortstop in 2002, which means he'll go to high Class A if Lopez makes the low Class A roster.
Minor League Top Prospects
Merritt led the AquaSox with a .480 slugging percentage, and his power for his position made him one of the league's most interesting players. The question seems to be where he'll play, as he spent time at second base, shortstop and third base. He projects more as a second baseman, though he also played plenty of outfield in college and for Team USA last summer. Merritt made a name for himself as one of the top hitters on USA Baseball's college national team, and offense is still his strong suit. "He's got surprising pop and can turn the fastball around," Cole said. "He might end up being a utility guy because he can play all three positions. He runs well enough to sneak in a few stolen bases and has very good instincts."