On Monday, the Cleveland Indians promoted outfield prospect Oscar Mercado to the MLB level. The move comes as Tyler Naquin is expected to head to the 10-day injured list with a calf injury.
According to MLB.com, Mercado is Cleveland’s 19th-ranked prospect and second-highest outfield prospect. However, there’s more reason to be excited for the speedy 24-year-old’s MLB arrival than your usual relatively-unknown prospect’s debut.
Mercado put his name on the map this spring with the Indians, slashing .400/.415/.750 in 41 plate appearances this spring. Along with that terrific slash-line, he knocked seven extra-base hits with nine RBI and a stolen base.
He used that strong spring as momentum to start the regular season with Triple-A Columbus. He has four homers and 14 stolen bases in just 30 games this season with a .294 average and .891 average. Those numbers were all on pace to be career-bests at the minor-league level.
Mercado was primarily a center fielder in the minors after he was converted from a shortstop in 2016 and 2017 while he was still with the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization. However, as he’s expected to replace Naquin, he will likely man right field with the MLB squad. Cleveland needs his hot hitting to translate to the big leagues as the team has scored the fourth-fewest runs in the league.