In prospect circles, shortstop Oscar Mercado has been well-known for some time. The St. Louis Cardinals selected the now-20-year-old in the second round of the 2013 Draft.
The Floridian spent his 2014 learning at short-season Johnson City. There, he had a so-so season with the bat, but came on like gangbusters in the post-season as his club won the Appalachian League title. Mercado is ranked 23rd on The Cardinal Nation top 40 prospect list for 2015.
Mercado’s stolen base total for last season was 26, third-most in the entire Cardinals system. That was particularly impressive for a player who appeared in just 60 games. In 2015, his pace is even greater, as he swiped his Midwest League-leading ninth and 10th bags on Wednesday afternoon.
However, there is still plenty of work to be done.
Batting second after fellow top prospect Magneuris Sierra in Wednesday’s contest, Mercado also doubled, increasing his batting average to .239. In 67 at-bats, the right-handed hitter has yet to take a walk, and has an equal number of double plays as errors, seven. Many of the latter have been of the throwing variety.
In the following interview, Mercado discusses his progress made since last season, his spring training competition with Edmundo Sosa and his plans for 2015.
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