Yesterday, the Cleveland Guardians cut ties with one of their once promising outfielders.
Oscar Mercado was having a difficult season in 2022, hitting just .202 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 114 at-bats.
Mercado was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round of the 2013 draft and later traded over to Cleveland at the 2018 trade deadline.
The 27-year-old hit .235 with 26 homers and 95 RBI in four seasons with the Guardians.
MLB writer Henry Palattella took to Twitter to share some of Mercado’s stats over the past few years compared to his first full season in 2019, and let’s just say that things have changed for Mercado, and not for the better.
Oscar Mercado in 2019: 438 at bats, .269 average, 15 HR, 54 RBI, 15 steals, 2.4 WAR
Mercado from 2020-2022: 414 at bats, .198 average, 11 HR, 41 RBI, 12 steals, -0.1 WAR
Someone will give him a shot bc of his glove and speed, but crazy how he's fallen off. https://t.co/ZakkE7zYLQ
— Henry Palattella (@HellaPalattella) June 21, 2022
A Steady Decline
The stats from 2019 are pretty solid numbers, but when you look at the numbers from 2020 to this year, it’s very obvious that Mercado has tapered off just a bit.
Granted, the 2020 season was only 60 games due to COVID-19 shutting things down, but 2021 was a full 162-game season, as is this season.
The once promising young outfielder has declined in production over the past three seasons, at least at the plate.
Palattella notes that Mercado’s defense is still elite and that there will be teams who want to give him a chance because of it.
But it’s quite insane to see how far Mercado has fallen since his rookie season.
Declines like this are unprecedented and Mercado’s production has really slipped over the past few seasons.
But perhaps a team short on outfield depth could find a spot for the young outfielder.
As Palattella noted, his defense has not suffered in any way, so there will be at least a few teams that are willing to give him a shot because of it.
We’ll see if he can kick up his offensive production if he does indeed find a new home.