Oscar Mercado How Much Power is Enough?
Oscar Mercado is a defensive whiz of a SS from Florida who plays for Gaither High School. While most rave and rave about his glove and how great he is on that side of things. Most are also concerned with just how much the bat is really going to play at the next level. He’s actually 6’2 175 and that’s where alot of the talk stems from of how much projection he has. The problem I think for most is not so much if the bat will produce because I’m pretty comfortable in saying he should be a very good average hitter at the top level but how much strength or power is he going to have.
At the plate his swing is simple he’s got very good bat speed and I think the power issue derives from the fact that he has a swing really geared towards just making contact and not so much trying to take it to the fences. He’s got really quick hands that helps him at the plate as well as in the field. On the basepaths he has a chance to be a pretty good baserunner and in High School at the moment he already has 13 SB. Being a SS who most feel guranteed will stick there he doesn’t actually need to have a bunch of power. But look at Hak-Ju Lee for example great speed probably even better then Mercados and most think he’d be a solid average hitter but without as much as doubles power people really question what he’ll become. I do think Mercado is a bit stronger or will be but the point I’m trying to make is it leaves room to be concerned because at the end of the day Projection is just that it’s not written in stone he will do those things. It’s like saying a SP projects to add some velocity there’s no written in stone thing that gurantees he will it’s more of a hunch based on their size and such things of that nature.
On defense I don’t even really need to say much just watch some footage on him and you’ll realize why he’s so revered defensively. He’s got a good quick release plus arm and very good footwork. He’s a smart kid and he puts himself in the places to make the hard plays look easy.
So when looking at his Draft status it’s fair to say he’ll get drafted and fairly early for that matter. I have him as a late 1st round talent at the moment and I think that’s a pretty general opinion on him. I remember awhile back I was one of the first to come out and say that JP Crawford was the #1 SS in this class. While at the time I took some slack for it in the present that actually appears to be the concensus and the reason being that while Mercado has an edge defensively I think Crawfords bat is head and shoulders better and he’s got some power to boot or will. Don’t get me wrong I expect Mercado to have a pretty long MLB Career based on the glove but that could be more as a defensive utility guy if the bat falls on the short end of projections. Again don’t take what I’m saying here the wrong way he has a very nice swing and I do expect solid averages but he deffinately needs to bulk up a tiny bit and add some big boy strength at which point if he could hit like 280 with 5-8HR and 30-402B 103B I think most people would jump for joy knowing their SS will produce that.
If your talking about risk he’s the type of kid a team playing it safe but also looking for a HS talent will want. No makeup concerns you know he has a very good package to rely on that if things go wrong at least you’ll get something out of your investment. So with that said I don’t expect him to drop much more he should stay in that 20-35 range and go on to plenty of success at the MLB. I just hope he adds a bit of that strength so he could be an All Star as opposed to a utility guy.