Whitley David Merrifield...Lives in Winston-Salem, NC, with his wife, Jordan...Attended the University of South Carolina from 2008-2010...Hit .326 as a freshman to earn SEC All-Freshman honors in 2008...Batted .340 during his sophomore season, playing in all 63 games...Helped lead the Gamecocks to the 2010 College World Series title...Drove in the winning run with an 11th-inning single to beat UCLA (2-1) in the championship game, the last CWS contest played at Rosenblatt Stadium...Batted .321 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI during his junior year (2010), taking honors as the Earnest Brooks Co-Male Athlete of the Year...Finished his career sixth in school history with 263 hits and fifth with 197 runs...His mother, Kissy, was a five-time South Carolina state champion in tennis and played collegiately at Wake Forest University...His Father, Bill, was a two-time ACC Player of the Year at Wake Forest in baseball and played in the minor leagues...Competed in the Japanese Game Show Sports Danshi Grand Prix during the 2017 offseason...Show included several athletes from other sports, including Olympic Gold Medal sprinter, Justin Gatlin...Participated in several community projects in 2018, including a Special Olympics Clinic and hosting Gold Star Families at Kauffman Stadium...Also participated in Royals FanFest from 2017-2020.
Batted .281 (34-for-121) with five doubles, five home runs and 16 RBI across 44 games as a Blue Jay (.769 OPS)...Led off an inning with a hit on 56 occasions (fifth in AL)...Missed the game July 11 vs. DET due to a bone bruise in his big toe, ending his ironman streak of 553 consecutive games played...Marked the longest streak in Royals history and the longest MLB streak since Miguel Tejada played in 1,152 straight games from June 2, 2000-June 21, 2007...Doubled in the third inning July 30 at NYY, marking the 1,000th hit of his career...Became just the 14th player in Royals history to eclipse 1,000 hits...Traded from KC to Toronto in exchange for Max Castillo and Samad Taylor on Aug. 2...Went 2-for-5 with an RBI in his Blue Jays debut Aug. 4 at MIN...Bounced a ball off the top of the fence twice for his first home run as a Blue Jay on Aug. 21 at NYY...Made his MLB pitching debut in the ninth inning on Aug. 26 vs. LAA (1.0, 2H, 2ER, HB, HR), becoming the 15th position player in team history to pitch in a game...Hit a go-ahead pinch-hit two-run double in the 7th on Sept. 13 vs. TB (2), his first knock as a pinch-hitter in 2022 (fourth career)...Went 2-for-4 with a pair of homers and three RBI on Sept. 22 at TB...Was his first multi-homer game of the season and the third of his career...Drilled a three-run home run in the seventh inning Sept. 24 at TB to break a scoreless draw...Was his tenth long ball, reaching double-digit home runs for the fifth time in his career...Also doubled to record five extra-base hits in a three-game span for the first time in his career...Hit safely in 12 of his final 14 games, batting .417 (20-for-48) with four doubles, four homers and 11 RBI (.750 SLG, 1.181 OPS)...Dropped in a single during the fifth inning of Game 1 of the ALWC vs. SEA, his first career postseason hit in his second career playoff at-bat.
Played in all 162 games for the second time in his career (also 2019), joining Toronto’s Marcus Semien as the only two players to appear in every game in 2021, although he was the only player to start in 162 games...Became the third Royal to start every game in a season, joining Alcides Escobar (2014, 16-17) and Paul Schaal (161 games in 1971), and he became the fifth player to start and bat leadoff in 162 games (or more) in a single season, joining Maury Wills (164 games in 1962), Dave Cash (1974 and 75), Pete Rose (1975) and Ichiro Suzuki (2010)...Game 162 marked his 469th consecutive game, extending his Royals record as well as the longest active streak in the Majors...he passed Hunter Pence’s streak of 468 straight games from April 24, 2012-Sept.28, 2014 and Whit’s streak is the longest in the Majors since Prince Fielder played in 547 straight games from Sept. 14, 2010-May 16, 2014...He started games at second base (147), right field (11), left field (2) and DH (2)...among all fielders in 2021, he ranked fourth in the Majors in defensive innings played with 1372.2 innings out of the club’s 1417.1, trailing only J.P. Crawford (1412.1), Semien (1380.1) and Austin Riley (1375.1)...Named an All-Star for the second time, and went 0-for-2 while playing second base for the American League in the All-Star Game at Coors Field...Tabbed the Royals Player of the Month for June—his sixth such award—a month in which he led the Majors in hits (40), which were the most by a Royal since Jon Jay (43) in May 2018, becoming the first Royal to lead Majors in hits in any calendar month since Johnny Damon (51) in July 2000...Led the American League in steals for the third time in the last five seasons (also in 2017 and 2018), with 10 more than Cedric Mullins (30), who finished second...marked his second season with 40 (or more) thefts, following his Major League-best 45-steal season in 2018, becoming the fourth Royal to record multiple 40-steal seasons, joining Willie Wilson (7), Fred Patek (3) and Tom Goodwin (2)...He went 16-for-17 in steal attempts of third base to lead the Majors in steals of third, with nine more than Trea Turner (7), who ranked second...Tied for the Majors lead in doubles, matching J.D. Martinez, Jeimer Candelario and Bryce Harper...according to Bally Sports’ Dave Holtzman, he’s the first player to lead the American League in both doubles and steals since Detroit’s Charlie Gehringer (45 doubles, 27 steals) in 1929...Recorded the third 40-double/40-steal season in Royals history and his second (also, 43 doubles, 45 steals in 2018), joining Damon (42 doubles, 46 steals) in 2000...he’s the seventh player with multiple 40-double/40-steal seasons in Major League history,...joining Brian Roberts (2007, 2008), Hanley Ramírez (2006, 2007), Alfonso Soriano (2002, 2006), George Sisler (1920, 1922), Tris Speaker (1912, 1914) and Ty Cobb (1911, 1917)...Ranked third in the American League in hits (184), trailing Toronto’s Bo Bichette (191) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (188)...he also tied for fifth in the Junior Circuit in multi-hit games (49), tied for second in three-hit games (17) and infield hits (24) and was tied for 11th with 97 runs scored...His 74 RBI were second among leadoff hitters behind Jose Altuve (83) and ranked second by a Royals leadoff batter, trailing Johnny Damon (88) in 2000...Set a career-high with 12 sacrifice flies, which tied with Houston’s Yuli Gurriel for the Majors lead, becoming the third Royal to hold at least a share of the Majors lead in sac. flies, joining Darrell Porter, who tied for the lead in 1979 with 13, and John Mayberry, who tied for the lead in 1976 with 12...Merrifield’s total included his second career game with multiple sac. flies on Sept. 24 at Detroit, following Aug. 31, 2019 vs. Baltimore...Led Major League second basemen in putouts (283) and double plays turned (103) and also ranked second in the American League among qualifying second basemen with a .988 fielding percentage, behind Texas’ Nick Solak (.989)...according to FanGraphs, his 14 defensive runs saved were tops among all second basemen and his six outs above average matched Pat Valaika for fourth-most among AL second basemen...Had three double-digit hitting streaks, including a season-high 12-game streak from July 20-Aug. 1, an 11-game streak from June 13-25 and a 10-game streak from May 30-June 9...his 11 hit streaks of 10 games or more since 2017 are tied with Charlie Blackmon for the most in the Majors...Swiped 33 straight bags without being caught, after being thrown out on his first attempt of the season on April 11 in Chicago...his streak matched Carlos Beltrán (33 from 1999-2001) for the longest run in franchise history, before being thrown out by the Yankees’ Rob Brantly on Aug. 11...his streak was the longest in the Majors since Minnesota’s Byron Buxton swiped 33 straight without being caught between 2017-19...From the All-Star break to the end of the season, he tied for the American League lead in hits (89) and ranked tied for fourth in the Majors, behind Austin Riley (94), Starling Marte (93) and Freddie Freeman (90)...he also tied for second in the Majors in doubles (22) after the break...His 43 leadoff hits were the second-most in the Majors, behind Cedric Mullins (49) and his 169 career leadoff hits are the most in the Majors since he debuted in 2016, 16 more than Mookie Betts and George Springer (153)...his total is second in franchise history, behind Willie Wilson (339)...His 11 leadoff doubles ranked fourth in the Majors in 2021 and his 43 career leadoff doubles are tops in the Majors since 2016, and are the most in club history, 15 more than Willie Wilson (28), who is second...he also had two leadoff home runs in 2021 on June 29 at Boston and Aug. 28 at Seattle, the 10th and 11th leadoff homers of his career, which are tied for second in club history with David DeJesus and Wilson, trailing Alex Gordon’s 14...Homered in each of the first two games of the season, joining teammate Michael A. Taylor as the third and fourth Royals to do so in franchise history, along with Amos Otis (1977) and Clint Hurdle (1981)...he and Taylor also set a club record, each recording six RBI in the first two games...Homered and drove in all three runs in a win at Cleveland on April 5, becoming the first Royal to hit three homers in the team’s first four games of a season...also became the second Royal to record an extra-base hit in each of the first four games of a season, joining Amos Otis (1982)...he’s the eighth player since 1901 to do this as a second baseman—a group that includes Rogers Hornsby (1924)—and the first since Houston’s Bill Doran in 1989...Had his first of six multi-steal games on April 13 vs. the Angels, along with a season-high three thefts on June 19 vs. Boston...his 19 career multi-steal games are seventh-most in the Majors since his 2016 debut and are tied with Vince Coleman for seventh-most in franchise history...Hit by pitch twice on May 12 at Detroit, becoming the 40th in franchise history to get plunked twice in one game (Taylor became the 41st on Aug. 1)...Had four hits and three RBI on July 16 vs. Baltimore to mark his ninth career game with four hits or more, one shy of his career-high five hits on July 8, 2018 vs. Boston...became the first Royal with four hits and three RBI as a right fielder since Lorenzo Cain on Aug. 14, 2016 at Minnesota...Recorded his first steal of home on Aug. 21 at Wrigley Field, executing a double-steal with Nicky Lopez at first base, becoming the 39th different Royal (47th occurrence) to steal home and the first since Chris Owings on April 12, 2019 vs. Cleveland...it was one of 17 steals of home in 2021...Hit his second career grand slam on Aug. 25 at Houston, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead, following his first slam on May 7, 2019, which was also in Houston...it snapped a drought of 194 at-bats without a HR, which was the second-longest of his career, behind a 219-at-bat drought from 2016-17...Signed a four-year contract with a club option for 2023 on Jan. 28, 2019...His 909 career hits are third-most in the Majors since his debut date (May 18, 2016)...his total is the third-highest through the first six seasons of a Royals player’s career, trailing only Eric Hosmer (940) and Billy Butler (956)...Recorded at least 30 hits in 11 straight full months from July 2018 through September 2021, which was the longest run by an American League player since Ichiro Suzuki also had at least 30 hits in 11 consecutive full months from May 2007-September 2008 (Elias).
Appeared in all 60 games, extending his consecutive games played streak to 307, which is the longest active streak in the Majors according to Elias…started games in right field (28), center field (20), second base (10) and left field (2), and was in the field for 511.0 of the Royals’ 517.0 innings (98.8%)...Batted a career-worst .282 (70-for-248), but ranked third in the American League in hits behind José Abreu (76) and DJ LeMahieu (71)...Hit .296 (40-for-135) through Aug. 30, before going 1-for-30 (.033) from Aug. 31-Sept. 6, dropping his average to .248…hit .349 (29-for-83) over his final 19 games to raise his batting average 34 points, thanks in part to a streak of five-consecutive multi-hit games (Sept. 12-18)...Went 0-for-12 from Aug. 31-Sept. 2 vs. Cleveland to snap a streak of consecutive series with a hit at 71, which began on Sept. 7, 2018 vs. Minnesota and was the second-longest active streak in the Majors (Elias), and included seven series in 2018, all 52 series in 2019 and the first 12 of 2020...Tied José Abreu, José Ramírez and Eloy Jiménez for the American League lead in multi-hit games (21), one behind Corey Seager and Trea Turner, who led the Majors…also tied for second in the American League in steals (12), tied for eighth in runs (38) and was 12th in total bases (109)...Led the Majors in leadoff hits (20), one more than Tim Anderson, who ranked second…that included 10 leadoff hits in his final 19 games (Sept. 7-27)…of his 20 leadoff hits, a Majors-most six were doubles...His 70 hits from the leadoff spot tied DJ LeMahieu for the Majors lead…he ranked fourth in RBI (30), fifth in runs and tied for sixth in HR (9)...Had a pair of multi-stolen base games on Aug. 19 vs. Cincinnati (Game 2) and Sept. 16 at Detroit, the 12th and 13th such games of his career...Earned his fifth career Royals Player of the Month Award for July/August, tied for sixth among position players since the award was established in 1995…ranked fifth in the American League with 40 hits in his first 35 games and led the club in runs (22), RBI (22, tied), average (.288), and slugging (.496)... His 41 hits on the road ranked third in the Majors behind Trea Turner (46) and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (43) and his .328 average ranked fifth in the AL...Recorded two games in which he finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, on July 27 at Detroit and Aug. 15 at Minnesota (Game 2)...Homered in consecutive games from July 27-28 at Detroit, marking the fourth time doing so in his career and first since Aug. 29-30, 2017...Recorded a season-high four RBI at Target Field on Aug. 15 in the second game of a doubleheader, which included a three-run homer and an RBI single…marked his fifth career game with four RBI or more, and first since June 18, 2019 at Seattle, when he collected a career-high six RBI...Hit his ninth career leadoff home run on Sept. 12 off Pittsburgh’s Trevor Williams, fifth in club history behind Alex Gordon (14), David DeJesus (11), Willie Wilson (11) and Johnny Damon (10)…all nine have come since 2017, which rank tied for sixth in the Majors during that time...Hit safely in a season-high seven-straight games from Sept. 20-26, in which he hit .355 (11-for-31) with a double, two steals and six runs scored.
Named the recipient of the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award as well as the "Good Guy" Award winner by the Kansas City Chapter of the BBWAA ... Set career highs in games (162), runs (105), hits (206), triples (10), extra-base hits (67), slugging pct. (.463) and OPS (.811) ... Selected as the Royals lone representative in the 2019 All-Star Game and replaced Mike Trout in center field, going 0-for-2…he's the third Royal to appear in center field in an All-Star Game, joining Willie Wilson (1982-83) and Amos Otis (1970-71, 1973) ... Named the Royals 2019 Heart and Hustle Award winner by the MLBPAA, an award which honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game ... Led the Majors with 206 hits, matching Mike Sweeney (2000) for sixth most in Royals history…after leading the Majors with 192 hits in 2018, he became the second righthanded batter ever to lead the Majors in hits in consecutive seasons, joining Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, who did it in 1988-89…he's the first player, regardless of handedness, to lead the Majors in hits in consecutive seasons since Ichiro Suzuki from 2006-10, and he's the second Royal to turn the trick, joining George Brett (1975-76) ... His 206 hits are the most by an American League player since 2016, when José Altuve had 216 and Mookie Betts had 214 ... Recorded a hit in a Major League-best 129 of 162 games (80.1%), three more than Kevin Seitzer's previous franchise record of 126 games in 1987…it's the most games with a hit in the Majors since Derek Jeter hit safely in 129 games in 2012…the Major League record (since 1908) is 135 games with a hit, a mark that is shared by five players: Ichiro Suzuki (2001), Jeter (1999), Wade Boggs (1985), Chuck Klein (1930) and Rogers Hornsby (1922) ... Hit safely in his first 11 games, after hitting in his final 20 games of the 2018 season, to mark the longest hitting streak in Royals history (31), one more than George Brett's previous club-record of 30 straight in 1980…it was the longest streak in the Majors since Dan Uggla's 33-game run in 2011 ... Since Joe DiMaggio set the Major League standard with his 56-game hit streak in 1941, Merrifield is one of five American League players with a hit streak of more than 30 games, joining Paul Molitor (39 in 1987), Dom DiMaggio (34 in 1949), Ken Landreaux (31 in 1980) and Ron LeFlore (31 from 1975-76) ... One of four American League players to play in 162 games, joining teammate Jorge Soler, Baltimore's Jonathan Villar and Oakland's Marcus Semien…Merrifield and Soler are the seventh and eighth Royals to play 162 games in a season, joining: Alcides Escobar (2014, 2016-17), Eric Hosmer (2017), Billy Butler (2013), Carlos Beltrán (2002), Al Cowens (1977) and Hal McRae (1977) ... Matched teammates Hunter Dozier and Adalberto Mondesi, and Arizona's Eduardo Escobar for the Majors lead with 10 triples…the trio of Royals are the first to lead the American League in triples since Jose Offerman (13) in 1998 ... Became the first to lead the American League in both hits and triples since Nomar Garciaparra (209 hits, 11 triples) during his 1997 Rookie of the Year Award-winning season ... He's one of three players in the last 84 seasons (since 1936) to record at least 10 triples, 20 steals, 40 doubles and 200 hits in a season, joining Johnny Damon (2000 with Kansas City) and Nomar Garciaparra (1997 with Boston) ... Became the first Royal to record at least 30 hits in all six months of the season from April through September…he's recorded at least 30 hits in nine consecutive months overall (excluding March and October), a streak which started in July 2018…it's the longest streak by an American League player since Ichiro Suzuki went 11 straight months from May 2007-September 2008 (Elias) ... Started games at second base (76), right field (53), center field (16), designated hitter (8), first base (4) and left field (4) ... Ranked second in the Majors with 735 plate appearances, which were third most in Royals history behind Willie Wilson (745 in 1980) and Johnny Damon (741 in 2000) ... Scored 105 runs, the most by a Royal since Carlos Beltrán scored 114 times in 2002 ... Played in his 500th career game on Aug. 7 in Boston, becoming the 26th position player in Royals history to play the first 500 games of his Major League career with the club… among those 26 players, his 596 hits through 500 games are the most, ahead of George Brett (588), Kevin Seitzer (577), Carlos Beltrán (570) and Billy Butler (546) ... Named Royals Player of the Month for May and June, marking his third and fourth career monthly awards ... Recorded a walk-off single on May 26 off the Yankees' Jonathan Holder, his fourth career walk-off RBI in the Royals' first walk-off win vs. the Yankees since 2000 ... Recorded his second career multi-homer game on June 18 in Seattle, collecting a career-high six RBI ... Hit leadoff home runs on Aug. 9 at Detroit (Edwin Jackson) and Aug. 11 at Detroit (Daniel Norris), becoming the second Royal to hit two leadoff homers in the same series, joining Alex Gordon, who did it in Baltimore exactly seven years prior, on Aug. 9, 2012 and Aug. 11, 2012 ... Hit inside-the-park home runs on July 16 off Chicago's Dylan Cease and on Aug. 9 off Detroit's Edwin Jackson, which led off the game, making him the sixth player in franchise history to hit a leadoff inside-the-park homer in a regular season game, and the first since Omar Moreno on Sept. 5, 1985 vs. Milwaukee ... He's the first Royal with multiple inside-the-park homers in the same season since Mark Teahen had two in 2008, and he's the second Royals right-handed batter to turn the trick, joining Frank White in 1975 ... He's the first Royal to have consecutive homers be inside the parkers since Brian McRae in 1992 ... Went hitless in back-to-back games on Aug. 3-4 for the first time since Sept. 3-5, 2018…according to Sportradar, his streak of 135 consecutive games without back-to-back hitless efforts was the second longest in the American League since 1946, trailing only Ichiro Suzuki's streak of 180 from 2008-09 ... He's recorded a hit in 59 consecutive series, including the last seven series of 2018 and all 52 series in 2019 ... Led the Majors with 42 leadoff hits, most by a Royal since Johnny Damon had 44 leadoff hits in 2000 ... Collected a leadoff double to cap a 13-pitch at-bat vs. Julio Teheran (including 7 foul balls) on Sept. 24, the most pitches seen by a Royal in an at-bat that ended with a hit since Eric Hosmer doubled to cap a 13-pitch at-bat vs. Toronto's Todd Redmond on April 30, 2014 ... Hit .335 in 76 games vs. American League Central opponents, including 108 hits, the second-most hits ever by a player vs. the AL Central (since 1994), trailing only Michael Brantley, who had 112 hits within the division in 2014 ... Recorded 28 hits in 19 games vs. Cleveland, the most hits ever by a Royal in a single season vs. the Indians, two more than Mike Sweeney's 26 in 2001 ... Had 31 hits in 19 games vs. Detroit, matching Carlos Beltran (2001) for the most by a Royal vs. the Tigers in a single season, and tied for third most by a Royal vs. any team in a single season, trailing only George Brett's 36 hits in 18 games vs. the Angels in 1975 and Brett's 32 hits in 17 games vs. the Twins in 1976.
Made the Opening Day roster for the first time, and recorded career highs in games (158), runs (88), hits (192), doubles (43), walks (61), stolen bases (45), batting average (.304), on-base percentage (.367) and OPS (.806), all of which led the team…voted Les Milgram Player of the Year honors by the Kansas City chapter of the BBWAA...Named Royals finalist for the Hank Aaron Award... Became the third player since WWII to lead the Major Leagues in both hits (192) and steals (45), joining: Dee Gordon (2015) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001)…prior to 1945, the only others to do it were: Snuffy Stirnweiss (1944), Ty Cobb (1917, 1915, 1911, 1909), Benny Kauff (1914) and Honus Wagner (1908)...Was the third Royal to lead the Majors in hits, joining: Willie Wilson (club-record 230 hits in 1980) & George Brett (212 in 1979; 215 in 1976, tied with Pete Rose)...Became the second Royal to lead the Majors in steals, joining Willie Wilson (club-record 83 in 1979)... Became the first Royal to lead the American League in stolen base in consecutive seasons (34 in 2017)…his 45 steals in 2018 were most by a Royal since Johnny Damon (46) in 2000...Led the Majors with 28 steals following the All-Star break, one more than teammate Adalberto Mondesi...Had a career-high-tying three stolen bases twice: May 18 vs. the Yankees and May 6 vs. Detroit...Had a club-record 16 steals of third base (18 attempts), four more than the previous high set by Lorenzo Cain (12) in 2015…was the most in the American League since Rajai Davis (17) in 2012...Became the third Royal with at least 10 HR and 30 SB in consecutive seasons, joining: Carlos Beltrán (2001-03), Johnny Damon (1999-2000) and Amos Otis (1970-71, 1978-79)…he and Trea Turner are the only ones in the Majors to do it in each of the last two seasons...Ranked among American League leaders in: plate appearances (707, 2nd), at-bats (632, tied for 2nd), multi-hit games (54, tied for 4th), doubles (43, 6th), batting average (.304, 6th), times on base (259, 7th) and on-base percentage (.367, 8th)...Started in 157 of the Royals' 162 games, including starts at: second base (107), center field (27), designated hitter (10), right field (7), first base (5) and left field (1)…only two players started at least five games at more than five different positions: Niko Goodrum and Neil Walker (6 each)...Had a club-record four hits streaks of at least 12 games, most in the Majors: May 6-19 (12), June 27-July 10 (12), Aug. 12-23 (12) and Sept. 10-30 (20)...Ended the season on a career-high 20-game hit streak, in which he hit .318/.379/.482 (27-for-85)…was the longest streak in the Majors in 2018 and the longest by a Royal since Jose Guillen (21 from June 4-27, 2010)… was the longest to end a season in the Majors since Marco Scutaro ended 2012 with a 20-game hit streak....Became the seventh American League player (8th time) in the last 84 years (since 1935) to record a 40-double, 40-steal season, joining: José Altuve (2014), Brian Roberts (2007-08), Alfonso Soriano (2002), Johnny Damon (2000 with Kansas City), Roberto Alomar (1991) and Paul Molitor (1987)...Hit three leadoff HR: July 2 vs. Cleveland (Corey Kluber), Aug. 26 vs. Cleveland (Shane Bieber) and Sept. 10 vs. the White Sox (Lucas Giolito)…his six career leadoff HR are tied with Freddie Patek for fifth most in Royals history, trailing: Alex Gordon (14), David DeJesus (11), Willie Wilson (11) and Johnny Damon (10)...His 33 leadoff hits were tied with George Springer for fourth most in the Majors...Hit .357/.406/.538 (65-for-182) vs. left-handed pitchers, the fifth-best average in the Majors...Hit .398/.471/.579 (53-for-133) vs. American League East teams, the highest average and on-base percentage in the Majors (min. 100 at-bats)…his safely in 29 of 33 games vs. the AL East, including 16 multi-hit efforts...Had a career-high five hits on July 8 vs. Boston-four of which came vs. Rick Porcello-the first five-hit game by a Royal since Eric Hosmer on July 26, 2017 at Detroit, and the first ever five-hit game by a Royal as a second baseman...Hit his first career pinch-hit HR on Aug. 2 at the White Sox, a three-run shot off Xavier Cedeño that turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning…was the Royals' first pinch-hit HR since Aug. 18, 2014 at Minnesota (Erik Kratz)...Named Royals Player of the Month for August, after recording 39 hits, two shy of the Major League lead… his .358 average ranked third in the American League...Hit his first career walk-off HR on Sept. 1 vs. Baltimore, a two-run shot off Mychal Givens...Led the American League with 83 hits after the All-Star break for the second straight season (94 in 2017)...Had a career-high 22-game on-base streak from Aug. 10-Sept. 2, in which he hit .368/.429/.563 (32-for-87).
Spent majority of the year with the Royals, playing in 145 games, which included 131 starts at second base and 12 in the outfield (eight in right, four in left)...served as the Royals' leadoff hitter in 115 games ... Topped totals from his rookie year in nearly every offensive category, batting .288 (169-for-587) with 32 doubles, six triples, 19 homers, 80 runs scored and 78 RBI ... Led the American League with 34 stolen bases, becoming the first Royal to lead the league in steals since Johnny Damon (46) in 2000…his stolen base total ranked fourth in the Majors, behind Dee Gordon (60), Billy Hamilton (59) and Trea Turner (46) ... Became the third Royals player (fourth occurrence) with 30+ doubles, 30+ steals and at least 19 home runs in a season, joining Carlos Beltran (2001, 2002) and Amos Otis (1978) ... Hit 18 of his home runs as a second baseman, the most by a KC second sacker not named Frank White, who went deep 22 times in 1985 and 1986 ... Tied for third in the American League in triples and tied for fourth in infield hits (23) ... Led the American League with 94 hits after the All-Star break…it marked the most second-half hits by a Royal since Billy Butler (102) and Alex Gordon (98) in 2012 ... Collected 65 RBI out of the leadoff spot, ranking fourth in the Majors, behind only Colorado's Charlie Blackmon (103), Minnesota's Brian Dozier (93) and Houston's George Springer (84)…hit .321/.362/.509 (36-for-112) with runners in scoring position ... Hit .317/.366/.506 (57-for-180) with 11 doubles, four triples, five homers and 27 RBI with two outs ... Hit .321/.344/.476 (27-for-84) in Interleague games…his 27 hits vs. NL foes were tied for eighth-most among AL players ... Had a 19-game hitting streak (May 13-June 4), which tied for the longest in the American League in 2017 with Jose Altuve…it was also the longest by a Royal since Alex Gordon also hit in 19-straight in 2011 ... Hit three leadoff home runs - July 4 at Seattle (Felix Hernandez), July 25 at Detroit (Michael Fulmer) and Aug. 24 vs. Colorado (German Marquez)…became the seventh Royal (10th occurrence) to hit three or more leadoff homers in a season and first since Alex Gordon (4) in 2013 ... Recorded his first multi-homer game on July 23 vs. the White Sox, hitting solo shots off Derek Holland and Dan Jennings… became the first Royals second baseman with a multi-homer game since Alberto Callaspo on April 18, 2010 (at Minnesota) and the first KC leadoff hitter (any position) with a multihomer affair since Lorenzo Cain on September 7, 2012 (at White Sox) ... Became the 12th Royal (16th time) to homer in both games of a doubleheader, August 6 vs. Seattle…he and Salvador Perez (May 21 at Minnesota) both accomplished this during the 2017 season ... Set a career-high with five RBI on Aug. 13 at Guaranteed Rate Field, the most by a Royals leadoff hitter since David DeJesus also drove in five runs on June 15, 2008 vs. Arizona ... Finished one step away from hitting for the cycle twice - May 29 vs. Detroit (double, triple, homer) and Aug. 13 at Chicago White Sox (single, triple, homer) ... Recorded a career-high three steals on July 2 vs. Minnesota, becoming the first Royal with three thefts in a game since Lorenzo Cain on June 20, 2015 vs. Boston.
Played in 81 games, making 55 starts at second base, 11 in left field, three in right field, three at third base and one at first base…became the first Royal to start games at five different positions (none of them as the designated hitter) since Willie Bloomquist in 2010...Made his Major League debut on May 18 in the second game of a split doubleheader with the Red Sox and recorded his first career hit off David Price…had his contract selected on May 18, before being optioned to Omaha (AAA) on July 26…recalled on September 2...Among American League rookies who recorded at least 300 at-bats, tied for second in doubles (22), ranked third in batting average (.283) and on-base percentage (.323) and fourth in multi-hit games (27)...Set a Royals record by hitting safely in each of his first 11 starts…also hit in 30 of his first 35 games overall… since 2000, only two players have done better: Ichiro Suzuki (hit safely in 33 of his first 35 games in 2001 and David Dahl (hit safely in 32 of his first 35 games in 2016)...Recorded a hit in his first 18 career home games, the third-longest hitting streak at home to begin a career since 1913, trailing Rocco Baldelli (20 in 2003) and Albert Pujols (19 in 2001)...Had a hit and scored a run in 12 consecutive home games from May 27-June 18, matching Johnny Damon (2000) for the second-longest such streak in Royals history, trailing only Willie Wilson (16) in 1979...Batted .339 (39-for-115) over his first 27 games (May 18-June 18), 12th best in the American League during that span…hit just .189 (18-for-95) over his next 26 games (June 19-July 24)...Hit .351 (27-for-77) against left-handed pitching, third best in the AL (min. 80 plate appearances)...Batted .312 (59-for-189) in 49 games vs. AL Central foes…hit just .238 (29-for-122) outside of the division...Hit his first Major League home run on June 13 vs. Cleveland, and hit his second the next day, becoming the first Royals rookie to homer in back-to-back games since Mike Moustakas from September 16-17, 2011...Recorded a pair of hits and scored the winning run in the 11th inning on June 29 at St. Louis after entering as a pinch-hitter…became the first Royal with multiple hits in a game he didn't start since Jarrod Dyson on May 25, 2015 at Yankee Stadium...Led the Pacific Coast League in steals (16) prior to being selected on May 18.
Spent the entire 2015 season with Omaha, appearing at every position except for pitcher and catcher ... In 2015, tied for fourth in the PCL in stolen bases (32) and ranked fifth in runs scored (83)…enjoyed an 18-game hitting streak (April 16-May 4), batting .370 (27-for-73) with five doubles, two triples and two homers.
Named George Brett Hitter of the Year (organization's top offensive player) and Omaha Player of the Year in 2014 ... In 2014, tied for sixth among all minor leaguers with 41 doubles combined between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha ... Would have won the 2014 Pacific Coast League batting title (.340), but finished 65 at-bats shy of qualifying ... Hit safely in all 14 of Omaha's games during the 2014 postseason, hitting .386 (17-for-44) with two doubles, three homers and seven runs scored…that included going 4-for-4 with a double in Game 2 of the Championship Series at Reno.
Wilmington Player of the Year...tied for seventh in the Carolina League in stolen bases with 25.
Tied for fourth in the Carolina League in runs, 2011...tied for seventh in doubles, tied for ninth in at-bats and ranked 10th in hits.
Selected in the ninth round of the 2010 June Free Agent Draft...Played 47 games for Burlington (A).