Of all that has happened over the last few days, there have been a few bright spots, but there has been on bright shining star that has burst on the scene. That of course is the handsome #108thicc Yermin Mercedes. Yermin got 8 straight hits to start his 2021 MLB season after just barely making the team. That’s the kind of performance that gets you noticed nationally but also the kind that begs the question: Is this real? For me, I asked myself that question last night:
Now that I am pretty sure I didn’t drop acid recently and this is not a dream, I am trying to look into what I should or should not believe. The problem we have is that while Yermin has been playing baseball for the past 10 years, you never know how much you should believe from leagues below the MLB. That said, let’s look at a few key elements. We’ll start with his slash line over his career: .307/.367/.494. That’s pretty damn good. And as you dig into that more, the slugging is not juiced up by outrageous home run numbers, like some Crash Davis just touring the minors to hit home runs and talk shit to pitchers from behind the plate. It’s a good amount of doubles (171) and even some triples (15) in there.
There is, however, one worrisome part of his game. Despite the high OBP, he has struck out (454) more than he has walked (248). And while strike out percentages in the teens might not be the most frightening thing in today’s game, it could be a problem as pitchers start to get more info on him. ZiPS projects him to K about 22% of the time this year. This is probably why two strike hitting and his work with Frank Menechino was mentioned multiple times during the telecast. If he truly has improved that part of his game, a Yermin Mercedes with a .800 OPS is more than realistic. Now excuse me while I stare at this black light poster for the next 5 hours.