Player: Oscar Mercado
Drafted by: St. Louis Cardinals (No. 57 Overall)
DOB: 12/16/1994 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’2”/175 lbs
School: Gaither High School (Fla.)
College Commitment: Florida State
In a draft class that’s thin at shortstop, Oscar Mercado stands out for his ability to remain at the position long term.
He put himself in the Day 1 draft discussion last summer with a standout performance in the East Coast Pro Showcase, showcasing a high-level blend of athleticism and baseball skills on both sides of the ball.
Mercado followed that with an equally impressive showing in the Perfect Game All-American Classic, opening lots of eyes with his sharp defense at second base and consistent up-the-middle approach.
Committed to Florida State for the 2014 season, he does involve a fair amount of projection with a slender 6’2”, 175-pound frame and a bat that lags well behind his glove from a developmental standpoint.
Although he’ll need considerable seasoning in the minors, Mercado has all the makings of an everyday shortstop at the major league level.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Inside-out approach; consistently drives the ball back up the box; quick wrists with above-average bat speed; should benefit from adding strength to wiry 6’2”, 175-pound frame; works to consistently barrel the ball; contact-oriented swing plane; keeps barrel in the zone; solid approach and pitch recognition; understands his limitations as a hitter.
Below-average power potential; present gap power; could develop some over-the-fence pop given his ability to generate backspin carry; capable of sneaking a few out down the line if he learns to turn on the ball.
Better in-game speed than straight-line; average runner who’s aided by quick feet and outstanding instincts; plus baserunner.
Plus defensive profile with ability to remain at the position; natural shortstop with above-average range that plays up due to his instinctual first step and quick feet; wiry frame with smooth, fluid actions; excellent footwork; soft, giving hands; effortless transfer and release; has the athleticism and defensive foundation to handle a move anywhere on the field.
Above-average arm strength; accurate; gets rid of the ball smoothly and quickly; excellent internal clock in terms of gauging strength of throws across the diamond; good carry on throws.
MLB Player Comparison: Elvis Andrus
Projection: Everyday middle infielder; ceiling of a top-of-the-order hitter.
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 75 percent
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