Omaha Storm Chasers alums Whit Merrifield and Scott Barlow have been selected to participate in the 2018 Japan All-Star Series in conjunction with Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). The series will feature seven games, in addition to one exhibition across Japan from November 8-15.
Merrifield compiled a .304 average (192-632) with 88 runs, 43 doubles, three triples, 12 homers and 60 RBI in 158 games with the Royals, adding 45 stolen bases. He finished the 2018 campaign on a 20-game hit streak and became the third player since World War II to lead the Major Leagues in both hits and stolen bases, joining Dee Gordon (2015) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001). Merrifield also ranked among the top ten in the American League in multi-hit games (54), doubles, batting average and on-base percentage (.367).
Over parts of four seasons with the Storm Chasers, Merrifield combined for a .290 mark (340-1173), adding 192 runs, 80 doubles, eight triples, 19 homers and 105 RBI in 289 games. He was also a member of the 2014 Triple-A National Championship Storm Chasers squad. The 29-year-old was selected in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of the University of South Carolina.
Barlow accumulated a 1-1 clip and 3.60 ERA (6 ER/15.0 IP) with three walks and 15 strikeouts in six appearances with Kansas City in 2018. The right-hander made his Major League debut on April 30 and earned his first victory on May 29 versus Minnesota, firing 4.0 hitless frames in a 2-1 triumph in 14 innings. His 4.0-inning stretch without allowing a hit was the longest by a Royals reliever since 2000.
The right-hander in 13 appearances (ten starts) with the Storm Chasers this past season posted a 1-4 record and 6.11 ERA (31 ER/45.2 IP), adding 60 strikeouts. He yielded one earned run or less in nine of those 13 appearances. Barlow was signed by the Royals to a Major League contract on December 7, 2017. He was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Golden Valley High School in California.
Four 2018 MLB All-Stars are among those on the roster joining Merrifield and Barlow. The full roster can be viewed by clicking here.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.