It took him awhile, however Yermin Mercedes has lastly made an out this season.
Mercedes was 8 for 8 earlier than flying out to Angels middle fielder Mike Trout within the eighth inning Saturday evening. At that time, the White Sox’s rookie catcher had already turn into a baseball sensation. He had adopted up a 5-for-5 efficiency Friday with hits in his subsequent three at-bats and was a triple shy of the cycle.
His excellent begin is historic, too: Mercedes is the primary participant within the trendy period (1900 to current) to start a season with eight consecutive hits, based on the Elias Sports activities Bureau (through the White Sox).
So who’s Yermin Mercedes, and why is he doing this for one of many prime groups within the American League?
Mercedes took an extended street to the Present
Mercedes is 28 and has been in skilled baseball for a decade. He signed with the Nationals as a world free agent out of the Dominican Republic in March 2011. However he hasn’t been in organized ball all 10 of these years. He spent the 2014 season in impartial ball after being launched by the Nats in August 2013.
And he did not even get to play within the high-profile indy leagues. He needed to strive clawing his means again within the United and Pecos leagues within the American Southwest. He hit 17 dwelling runs and compiled a 1.124 OPS in 61 mixed video games at that degree. These numbers bought the eye of the Orioles, who signed him as a minor league free agent in September 2014.
Three years after that, the White Sox took him within the 2017 minor league Rule 5 Draft. No matter group, he remained a hitting machine within the excessive minors whereas he saved engaged on his protection. He tore up Triple-A in 2019 (17 homers, 1.033 OPS at Charlotte).
Mercedes earned an invitation to the White Sox’s alternate website final season after which made his MLB debut with an at-bat Aug. 2, 2020.
Mercedes made the Sox as their No. 3 catcher
Mercedes was a late addition to Chicago’s 26-man Opening Day roster. The Sox went with him over nonroster catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Supervisor Tony La Russa considered Mercedes as a helpful bench bat from the fitting aspect, particularly after left fielder Eloy Jimenez suffered a long-term harm.
Mercedes is backing up Yasmani Grandal and Zack Collins behind the plate. Grandal damage his knee in spring coaching and Collins is now anticipated to be a semiregular at DH with rookie Andrew Vaughn shifting to the outfield to switch Jimenez. All of that leaves a gap for Mercedes to get at-bats. After an 8-for-9 begin, he figures to be within the lineup greater than anticipated within the season’s early days.
“You must be prepared, catching or DH, at any time when Tony desires to place me there,” Mercedes advised reporters, per MLB.com. “Do the most effective I can do. DH, catching, if I’m within the lineup that’s what I take into consideration.”
Mercedes hasn’t caught but for the Sox — he was their DH on Friday and Saturday.
Mercedes tuned up for camp within the Dominican
Mercedes is an everyday within the Dominican winter ball. This previous season was his seventh within the league, all with Licey. He slugged two homers and slashed .276/.326/.368 in 95 plate appearances in opposition to higher-level pitching.
Mercedes’ household again dwelling was following his each transfer throughout that magical first evening.
“When the primary hit got here (Friday), the enjoyment, I assumed the constructing was happening,” Mercedes’ father, Yermin Mercedes Sr., advised the Chicago Solar-Instances on Saturday. “We have been leaping and completely happy and screaming. After which the second and third and fourth and fifth. It was simply pleasure and happiness.”
The elder Mercedes advised the Solar-Instances that he satisfied his son to maintain enjoying just a few years in the past when he wasn’t making progress via the minors.
“As a father, you don’t let your son give up,” Mercedes’ dad advised the Solar-Instances on Saturday. “You don’t allow them to surrender on their desires.”