The Cleveland Guardians and the Philadelphia Phillies are playing table tennis with struggling outfielder Oscar Mercado.
The Phillies claimed him off waivers on June 27, but then he was designated for assignment and claimed by the Guardians again.
On Monday afternoon, he was once again DFA’d by Cleveland.
To take his spot on the active roster, the Guards are calling up outfielder Alex Call.
“The Guardians have called up outfielder Alex Call. Oscar Mercado has been designated for assignment,” Guardians reporter Mandy Bell tweeted.
The Guardians have called up outfielder Alex Call. Oscar Mercado has been designated for assignment.
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) July 11, 2022
While Call is not considered a top prospect and is already a bit on the “old” side at 27 years old, he might have a future in MLB as long as his hit tool can translate well to big league pitching.
In Triple-A, he was hitting .283/.418/.504 with 11 home runs in 293 plate appearances.
A Quick Scouting Report
He is seen as a gap-power guy with more ability to hit doubles (16 this year) than actual homers.
FanGraphs’ writer Alex Chamberlain wrote about him late last year:
“Very famously the other side of the 2019 Yonder Alonso trade, Call once projected as a bench outfielder. Naturally, that was before he halved his strikeout rate and pushed his walk rate into the double digits. He’s a completely different hitter, and while he doesn’t hit for a ton of power, at least he boasts the requisite plate discipline of a gap-power guy. The approach is still somewhat problematic from a bat path standpoint; Call’s swing plane is too loft-oriented for someone who lacks latent power. Gap power and doubles power are two different things when the former fails to fall for hits.”
With that OBP, however, and his low strikeout rate (16.4 percent), he is more or less in the Kwan mold, but with more power and less contact.
If he performs up to his abilities, he could carve himself a role in the Guards’ outfield rotation.
He doesn’t have any development left to do: it’s time to see if he can succeed as an MLB hitter.
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