Josh Merrigan of GSU. Courtesy of Georgia State Sports Communications
It did not take long for Josh Merrigan to find his stroke at the college level. In fact, in his very first collegiate game, Merrigan went 3-4 driving in two runs and stealing a base. And after the opening series against Butler, Merrigan was named CAA Rookie of the Week for going 7-11 with six RBI and six runs.
Not bad for a 19-year-old kid trying to find his way at the Division 1 level.
Merrigan finished the year batting an astounding .353 driving in 36 runs and scoring 52 himself. He went 12-for-12 on stolen base attempts and hit 16 doubles, five triples and four home runs. Those numbers were good enough for the coaches in the Colonial Athletic Association to vote the Georgia State leadoff hitter their CAA Rookie of the Year.
“The thing about Josh is that we as coaches didn’t try to change him,” said GSU Head Coach Greg Frady. “We worked to try to enhance the way he goes about the game and we worked on all the little things. He was very coachable, and as the season went on, every part of his game improved. And I think he will continue to get better with a little more physical strength as his body matures.”
The 6’2 175 lb left-handed center fielder out of Marietta, GA put together one of the best freshman seasons ever for a Panther. He ranks first in average, runs and hits among freshman, and is tied for fifth in RBI’s.
“Josh is a great talent,” added Frady. “I think he has the talent to have a professional career and play for a lot of years.”
Not only did Merrigan do well by GSU standards, he put the nation on notice. He ranks second in hits for freshman, third in runs scored and fourth in average. His 84 hits were good enough to land him 13th overall in the NCAA.
Merrigan collected three CAA Rookie of the Week honors throughout the season to go along with also being voted Second Team All-CAA and to the CAA All-Rookie Team to finish the year.