Since being brought up to the Indians on May 14, Oscar Mercado has been quite the bright spot within the Indians’ offense. He has answered the call to “The Show” and has provided immediate help to what was an ailing offense. In addition to his bat, Mercado holds himself very well within the clubhouse and he deserves to be, and I believe will be, a solid candidate for AL Rookie of the Year (ROY).
As of right now, the rookies with the best odds at winning ROY are Vladmir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays), Eloy Jimenez (White Sox), and Brandon Lowe (Rays). That’s a heavy hitter list and for good reason. Vlad Jr. is having a tremendous career start by currently hitting .258 with seven home runs. Eloy Jimenez, quite possibly the rookie with the most expectations to perform this season, is currently hitting .247 with 11 home runs. And last but certainly not least, is Brandon Lowe of the Rays, who is currently batting .289 with 15 home runs. Now that is certainly a list full of some stellar rookies, but I believe Mercado can close the gap on these guys and win this thing.
Oscar Mercado, in less than half of the total at-bats from the above-mentioned players, is batting .304 with four home runs, 13 RBIs, and four stolen bases. Those four stolen bases lead all current ROY candidates and he has played half the games. Mercado has also been playing his heart out in left and center field and is looking solid on defense. Center field seems to be Mercado’s most dominant position, sporting a fielding accuracy of 1.000. Sure, he has games where he strikes out several times and doesn’t time up every line-drive fly ball with 100% efficiency, but he’s a young kid with a ton of potential and is someone who I believe is going to be a big difference maker in this club for years to come.
On top of Mercado’s impressive 2019 stats, he has been having quality at-bats lately that have been contributing to wins. He had a clutch walk-off RBI single against the Reds last week and has been the Indians gold standard for base running this year, as he is not only fast on the base paths but also aggressive.
If Mercado continues to play the way he’s been playing, I don’t see how anyone can beat him. Look for Mercado to continue to have a solid series in Texas and mow over the Detroit Tigers this weekend in Cleveland.
Cheers and Roll Tribe, Jiggy