On the Hunt: Battery Mates
March 9, 2017
By Shooter Hunt
This week, On the Hunt, takes a look at the ever important battery mates: pitchers and catchers. All have made great strides over the winter, and were impressive at PBR events prior to their spring seasons. Included in the list are two whippy arms from Oklahoma, and a couple big right-handers who took massive strides forward from Wisconsin and South Dakota, as well as five catchers with advanced defensive skills and a chance to really hit at the next level (IL, MO, NC, OH)
Daniel Merrill, RHP, Home School, OK, 2019
The whippy quickness that Merrill’s arm produces is instantly intriguing, and the fact that he is still young looking should only make him more valuable in the minds of recruiters. Merrill sat at 80-83, but is far from reaching his potential, and his quick arm will have his velocity up much higher in the near future. Already 6-foot-5, 190-pounds Merrill still looks like he can add at least 25 pounds before leaving high school. Repeating a simple, compact motion, Merrill delivers out of a high ¾ slot with his whippy arm, and remains linear down the mound with impressive extension after a long stride puts him nearly on top of the plate. Merrill showed advanced feel for a multi-planed curveball with tight spin that he threw for strikes at 66-68 and a changeup that he faded with command in the zone and fastball arm speed at 71-73. Also sporting a solid stick at the plate, Merrill could develop into a two way player in the future. He has wiry athleticism, and runs an impressive 6.88 60-yard dash. Overall, Merrill is a player that coaches need to keep a very close eye on. His whippy, short arm and large, athletic frame make me believe that he is going to make a big jump in the very near future.