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MLB Rookie Report: Ryan Merritt, LHP, Cleveland Indians

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians have promoted left-handed pitching prospect Ryan Merritt to the major league roster. Here's a quick take on what to expect.

Merritt is a 24 year old southpaw out of Texas; he posted a 12-7, 3.63 ERA with a 105/22 K/BB ratio in 171 innings last year between Double-A and Triple-A, including a seven-inning no-hitter on July 11th.

From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book.

Ryan Merritt, LHP, Cleveland Indians
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-0 WT: 165 DOB: February 21, 1992

2015: Grade C

Merritt is a stereotyped finesse lefty: fastball at 87-91, average curveball, average change-up, excellent control, low-maintenance mechanics, impressive pitching instincts, good record for durability. A 16th round pick in 2011 from McClelland Community College in Texas, he passed the Double-A test last season and should open 2016 in Triple-A with a chance for some major league time. Merritt’s stuff isn’t quite as good as teammate Shawn Morimando’s, but Merritt has more consistent command. A caution flag is his low strikeout rate, but for some reason I like him more than the numbers say I should. Grade C+.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY

Merritt has been very successful this year, making eight starts for Triple-A Columbus, posting a 2.94 ERA with a 37/8 K/BB in 52 innings, allowing 48 hits.

The pre-season report is still valid for the most part, except Merritt was throwing a cutter in spring training and his strikeout rate has crept upward this year, a good sign. He is too polished for the Triple-A level at this point, but as with all young pitchers we need to see how it translates to the majors. Finesse pitchers don't have big margins for error but Merritt has shown the ability to adapt and adjust.

His durability and strike-throwing tendencies could make him a viable number four/five starter. Intuitively, I like him a lot as this style of pitcher goes.

This video is a couple of years old but gives a good look at his full arsenal (at least his 2014 arsenal).

Here's the last out of the no-hitter he threw last year in Double-A.