- Bats Right, Throws Right
- School UC San Diego
Matt Merrifield has played for the Swedish national team.
Merrifield came to Sweden to play in the 2004 Elitserien with Tranås. He hit .365/.464/.692 and went 5-2 with a 4.65 ERA. At his main pitcher, catcher, he allowed 21 steals in 23 tries. He was 5th in the league in average, 4th in slugging, tied for 5th in wins and was second in home runs (8). In 2005, he was 1-2 with a 2.84 ERA and batted .333/.367/.509. He had a 1-1, 4.50 record in 2006 while producing at a .385/.520/.552 clip. He was again 5th in average and 4th in slugging, while being 6th in RBI (28), tied for second in doubles (12, even with Björn Johannessen behind Will Rikard) and tied for 5th in hits (44). In '07, the Tranås backstop hit .346/.522/.540 and threw out 9 of 21 base-stealers.
Moving to shortstop in 2008 (and fielding .957 there), Merrifield hit .339/.438/.573 with 35 runs and 30 RBI. He tied Richard Leander for 8th in the Elitserien in RBI. Back at catcher in '09, he batted .346/.527/.653 and followed with a .296/.429/.494 season in 2010. He switched clubs to Stockholm BSK in 2011 and hit .301/.407/.444 as a utility man. In 2012, he batted .344/.453/.622 for Stockholm.
Merrifield then joined Sweden for the 2012 European Championship. In their opener, he was 3 for 4 with two doubles, 3 runs and two RBI in a romp over Russia. He hit .250/.290/.357 for the event with six runs and three RBI; only Peter Johannessen scored more runs for Sweden. He fielded .972 as their main shortstop.
In 2013, he hit .373/.482/.593 for Stockholm, leading the Elitserien with four home runs and .947 fielding percentage at short. He was third with 38 runs (behind Magnus Pilegård and Peter Johannessen) and was second in slugging, .012 behind Pilegård. Stockholm won its fourth title. He helped them to another title in 2014, when he batted .385/.514/.590, placing third in slugging and fourth in runs, tying for the home run lead (3) and again leading in shortstop fielding (.987).
Merrifield produced at a .450/.555/.764 clip in 2015 to lead in average (by .057), OBP (by 83 points) and slugging (by .225) while tying for the home run lead (1) and tying for 5th with 14 RBI. Moving to first base, he fielded .989 then. He dazzled in the finals (8 for 11, 3 2B, 3B, BB, 3 R, 4 RBI) as Stockholm pulled off a three-game sweep for another title. He was named finals MVP.
In the 2015 B-Level European Championship, he hit .320/.452/.440 with four runs and seven RBI in six games to help Sweden earn a trip to the 2016 European Championship. In the finale, against host Austria, he also came in to pitch, relieving Elvis Hammarstedt and allowing two runs (one earned) in five innings (3 H, 4 BB, 1 K) to get the win.
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