Stepping up in play from the 2013 Gulf Coast League, St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Oscar Mercado was challenged by the better pitching in the Appalachian League in 2014.
The 19-year-old from Tampa batted just .224, but led the rookie-level league with 26 stolen bases (in 33 attempts) over 60 regular-season games, including 11-for-11 in the final month. Mercado was also fourth in the circuit with 41 runs scored.
It all came together offensively for Mercado in the playoffs, as the right-handed batter hit .400, drove in five and swiped seven more bags in just six games, and his Johnson City club took the title.
In the following exclusive interview, The Cardinal Nation’s 24th-ranked prospect in August recaps his 16 months as a professional and what may be ahead.
The Cardinal Nation’s extensive series of player and coach interviews from Cardinals instructional league camp in Jupiter will continue in the upcoming days. They will include Mike Shildt, Derrick May, Malik Collymore, Rowan Wick, Chris Rivera and Jery Then.
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