Who exactly is Yermin Mercedes? Born in the Dominican Republic, Mercedes was an international signing for the Washington Nationals at the age of 18 years old. Sitting just under six-feet tall at 5’11” 225lbs, Yermin has the body of a catcher. However, it seems the 26-year-old is more positionless than to label him as a catcher. Mercedes has appeared behind the plate for every organization he has been with, but not one but two roadblocks happen to be in his way in Charlotte. And those roadblocks are Zack Collins and Seby Zavala.
When Mercedes was taken in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft by the White Sox he was assigned to High A ball in Winston-Salem. He appeared in 79 games behind the plate for the Dash. As I mentioned before he is a catcher by trade but is rather position-less. As well as getting some action in at catcher, Yermin also played first base 14 times that season. He throws people out at a higher percentage than Zavala (33%) and at the same percentage as Collins (38%). His problem? The other aspects of being a catcher; particularly passed balls and framing. Collins and Zavala are clearly the better defensive catchers which is why the Sox are hesitant to make that his primary position.
Despite his poor defensive skills, Mercedes is needed in an everyday lineup. Why? His offensive skill is promotion–worthy in itself and deserves to be given a chance. Whether that’s with the White Sox or not, Yermin has a major league ready bat. Since being promoted to Charlotte, Mercedes has a line of .291/.360/.620. His slugging percentage has been off the charts and with not having a real DH all season, Yermin would be a huge upgrade on the XBH and power numbers right off the bat. He also brings to the table what the White Sox need, runners on base.
With a slash line of that caliber you might think it is a fluke, instead it’s the opposite. His slugging percentage is indeed inflated to start off his AAA career but nonetheless his career line is .301/.364/.481. The dude can flat out hit. That’s why going forward if he does indeed make it to the majors, it will more than likely be as a bat only.
What Should The White Sox Do With Him?
To me this whole scenario is easy. First off, he isn’t a catcher or first baseman and wouldn’t necessarily need to bring a glove with him to the big leagues. The Sox should trade Welington Castillo for whatever you can get, and keep Collins up in the show and finally give him some at-bats. It’s a lost season and if you want him on your opening day roster for 2020, give him the opportunity to continue his development on the major league level when this season doesn’t matter at all. Sorry, that’s my rant for today.
This will block Yermin from ever being a catcher and truly exposing his poor defensive mechanics. That being said, Rick Hahn shouldn’t treat Mercedes like a catcher and promote him to the Sox and put an end to the A.J. Reed experiment because you have a guy that is ready to hit right now sitting in Charlotte. Secondly, Mercedes should be promoted because he doesn’t have a future with this White Sox team. How does that make sense? Easy, show the other 29 ball clubs the damage he can do from hitting against major league pitching and then try to trade him in the following season.
White Sox fans have an odd fixation with the thought of Yermin Mercedes so the move to the big leagues is something every south sider can get behind under the right circumstance. So why not make it happen?
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