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Cleveland Indians prospect watch: Center fielder Oscar Mercado

As the outfield leaves a ton of thoughts for the Cleveland Indians, prospect  Oscar Mercado could have some answers when he will get his large-league shot.

The very first installment of our prospect enjoy column concentrated on new outfielder Daniel Johnson, whom the Cleveland Indians acquired in the trade that sent Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals. As an outfielder who can participate in heart and the corners, Johnson appears to be poised to get a shot at the large-league roster ought to the projected starters sputter.

Oscar Mercado, who was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in a prospect swap involving the Tribe’s Conner Capel and Jhon Torres, matches into the exact category.

Mercado is getting into his sixth qualified period, but he’s only 24, having been a second-spherical selection coming out of Tampa’s Gaither Higher School in 2013. He was the Cardinals’ 10th rated prospect at the time of the trade, and now finds himself rated 16th with the Indians to get started the 2019 marketing campaign.

He started his career as a shortstop, paying 3 several years at the place prior to switching to the outfield in 2016. As Mercado flirted with staying toss onto the pile of lengthy-overlooked prospective clients, he salvaged his inventory when he moved to heart area, for excellent in 2017, raising his batting regular 60 points although foremost the Cardinals’ business in steals (38).

It was outrageous to see his offensive match change just after generating a defensive switch. He built a lot more constant contact many thanks to greater bat pace. He’s considered an higher than regular runner, which would make him a threat on the foundation paths and in heart area.

Considering the time it took for Mercado to discover his way, it was fascinating to see the Cardinals give up on him considering that he’s near to achieving the big leagues.

Mercado will probable get started the period with the Course AAA Columbus Clippers, which is where he played very last period. In whole, he’s played 132 game titles in his minimal-league career, so just after a few a lot more months, there definitely won’t be significantly from him to do in the minors.

At the moment, Mercado’s blocked by Leonys Martin, who figures to be the Tribe’s beginning heart fielder. He’s a excellent defender, but will he offer more than enough offense? For his career, Martin is a .248 hitter (.673 OPS).

Bradley Zimmer‘s also a element in heart, but he was demoted very last period simply because he was not hitting. Then he harm his shoulder and was not in a position to get the job done on the correct.

Mercado’s off to a excellent get started in what’s been a tiny sample dimension this spring. He’s 3-for-9 with a household run and 3 RBIs.

Subsequent: Rumors: Indians had hoped to increase Lindor this offseason

The crucial for him will be preserving the offensive creation that arrived just after his switch to the outfield. At the Triple-A amount, he has a lifetime .278 regular, along with a .738 OPS. He’s was thrown some adversity with the trade and seeing how he reacts to get started a new period will be worth checking.

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