South Carolina baseball alumnus Whit Merrifield, a member of the Kansas City Royals, has been named to his first MLB All-Star Game. 

Merrifield, one of the top leadoff men in all of baseball, is hitting .301 with an .848 OPS.

“Four years ago, where I was in 2015, to get to this point and to be selected as an All Star, there’s only a handful of people who were by my side in 2015,” Merrifield told Royals.com. “It’s special to have gotten to this point, and I’m excited to celebrate with them in Cleveland. 

“It’s the best players in the world and I can put my name in there now, which is kind of surreal.”

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Merrifield, famously, got the game-winning hit in the 2010 College World Series to help deliver South Carolina's first major national championship. 

The second baseman led the American League last season in hits (192) and stolen bases (45) while batting .304 with 12 home runs and 60 RBIs. Merrifield has a career batting average of .293 in parts of three seasons, and he led the American League with 34 stolen bases in 2017. 

He made just six errors last season at second base, his primary position, while also seeing time at first and in the outfield.

“The best part of his game is the whole game,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He doesn’t have a best part of the game. He’s a very, very productive Major League Baseball player. He can play any position adequately in the field. The only two I haven’t played him at have been pitcher and catcher. He’s a phenomenal offensive producer.”

The 2019 All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 9, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It will be televised nationally by FOX Sports.