Along with Greg Deichmann (RF, Athletics) and Will Toffey (3B, Athletics), Merrell was part of Oakland’s run on high-ceiling college positional prospects in last year’s draft. A shortstop from South Florida, Merrell’s calling card is his double-plus speed, which has been on full display for Stockton in the early goings this season. In my looks, he consistently got up the line just a shade under 4.0 seconds from the left side. His game is contact oriented, spraying line drives and getting on base where his speed can play. With below-average power, he doesn’t project to impact the ball much or contribute in the extra-base department. Despite his 70-grade wheels, Merrell isn’t particularly quick in the field and only has average hands and arm at short, projecting as a fringy-overall defender at the position. He’s probably a better fit at the hot corner, though the lack of power presents a significant hurdle to receiving everyday big league at-bats on a corner. Merrell’s tools add up to a future utility option, able to fill in adequately at second, third, and short. In that role, his speed and ability to make contact could make him a valuable pinch-runner and bat off the bench.