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Severna Park grad Jackson Merrill may debut in Padres opener

Twenty-year old rookie set to make his major league debut in Korea

One of the top prospects in all of major league baseball is 20-year old Jackson Merrill, a Maryland native and 2021 graduate of Severna Park High School. Merrill now appears just days away from his major league debut.

The San Diego Padres who selected Merrill in the first round of the 2021 draft (No. 27 overall), included him in their travel party to Seoul, South Korea where he went 2-for-3 in 1-0 win over the Korean National Team on Sunday. He is hitting .351 this spring.

More impressive, Merrill is expected to be added to the Padres' roster in time to make his major league debut, as San Diego's starting centerfielder, when the Padres face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday in the 2024 major league opener in Seoul. The Padres and Dodgers will also play on Thursday before returning to the United States to finish preparations for the rest of the regular season.

Feb 22, 2024; Peoria, Arizona, USA; San Diego Padres outfielder Jackson Merrill against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a spring training game at Peoria Sports Complex.

Jackson Merrill, the No. 12 rated prospect in baseball and a graduate of Severna Park High School, is expected to make his major league debut on Wednesday, as the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers open the 2024 major league regular season in Seoul, South Korea. Merrill is just 20-years old.

Having lost out on the majority of his sophomore and junior seasons of high school baseball due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Merrill focussed on his nutrition and strength during his time away from the baseball field.

He returned for his senior season a stronger and more physically fit player than the undersized shortstop that debuted as freshman. At 6-3, 190-pounds, Merrill dominated high school pitching as a senior in 2021, hitting .500 with 13 home runs and 39 RBI.

As the season moved along, major league scouts swarmed Severna Park games to see Merrill, who was committed to the University of Kentucky. The more they saw, the more they liked and Merrill eventually became San Diego's top choice in that summer's draft.

In two-plus minor league seasons, Merrill has an .802 OPS in 800 at bats with 45 doubles, 10 triples, 21 home runs, 114 RBI and 133 runs scored.

This spring Merrill has appeared in 13 spring training games with the Padres and has three doubles and two home runs, to go with six RBI and three walks.