The 2013 amateur draft will be held from June 6-8 this year, and between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Oscar Mercado | SS
Mercado was born in Colombia, but he and his family moved to the United States when he was eight years old. He plays for Gaither High School in Tampa — a straight shot on Dale Mabry Boulevard and about 20 minutes from George M. Steinbrenner Field — and is committed to Florida State.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 175 lbs., Mercado’s calling card is his defense. He’s a no-doubt shortstop long-term because of his fast-twitch athleticism, quick reactions, soft hands, and strong throwing arm. The concern is his offense, as it’s unclear if he’ll hit enough in pro ball. Mercado, a right-handed hitter, is a line drive hitter without much power or much projection for future power. He can run and is a threat to steal, but he simply might not hit enough against better pitching. Here’s some more video.
Baseball America (subs. req’d) and Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranked Mercado as the 30th and 34th best prospect in the draft, respectively, in their latest rankings. He’s one of the two best shortstops in the draft — California high schooler J.P. Crawford is the other, and he’s expected to be a top 10-15 pick — and the Yankees love raw-ish, up-the-middle athletes. Considering he plays right in their back yard in Tampa, it’s safe to say Mercado is at least on their radar and someone they could consider for one of their top three selections (26th, 32nd, 33rd).