2013 MLB Draft Profile: Oscar Mercado, SS, Gaither HS (FL)

J.P. Crawford gets all the attention in this weak middle infield class, Mercado is more polished with the glove and has plenty of athleticism.

Summary

Perhaps the best player in a strong Florida prep crop that includes players such as Tyler Danish, Tucker Neuhaus, Chris Okey and Cord Sandberg. A long, projectable athlete who stands 6'2" and tips the scales at 175 lbs., Mercado is the top defensive shortstop in the 2013 class. Loose and relaxed in the field, he glides from side to side and projects to have above-average arm strength as he continues to add strength as he has throughout his high school career. His hands are remarkably soft, and he has a deft backhand that adds to his range.

Though he's not J.P. Crawford, Mercado is still a very good athlete and he has above-average foot speed to pair with his lateral quickness. He's remarkably fluid in his swing and gets through the ball quickly. His swing has some length to it, but it's smooth and level and produces line drives to all fields. He doesn't have a lot of raw power in his narrow frame and his swing is a bit loose at this point, but he puts the ball in play with his active hands and waits for his pitch. He's going to be a bottom of the order hitter, but his defense will make that more than acceptable.

Mercado is going to be drafted for his defense, which should be outstanding. It can be difficult to get excited about prospects who don't offer a lot of offense, but players like Mercado can offer a lot of value in today's MLB. His easy swing looks better some days than others, and it's not inconceivable that he turns into a gap-to-gap hitter with a low strikeout rate in the mold of Andrelton Simmons.

College commitment: Florida State

MLB Floor

Bench infielder/late inning defensive replacement. His glove is good enough that he will almost assuredly make it to the majors even if he doesn't hit.

MLB Ceiling

As I mentioned above, Mercado shows a bit of offensive upside on some days and as his lower half fills out a little bit he should be able to hit the ball with more authority. He's not going to hit for power, but Andrelton Simmons is a good comparison for his best-case scenario.

Projected Draft Round

His stock has been difficult to get a hold on, but he will go no later than round two, and could be a late first round pick.

Will He Sign?

Yes, almost assuredly.

Video

2012 Under Armour All-American OSCAR MERCADO powered by Baseball Factory (via baseballfactoryTV)

Oscar Mercado - SS - Gaither High School (Tampa, FL) (via alskor)

Oscar Mercado Prospect Video, Gaither High School (via Steve Fiorindo)


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