The Chicago White Sox are off to a hot start this season with help from Yermin Mercedes. The 28-year-old Catcher and Designated Hitter has already earned a sick nickname, the Yerminator. That nickname should propel him into future stardom but alas, we ask the question. Is Yermin Mercedes becoming a future star? I’ll dive into his stats and take a quick look, so you know what to expect from him.
This part of the article was a little more challenging than you might expect. Typically, I look over a player’s basic stats so I can get a general idea of how talented they are. Then, I’d dive into advanced stats and compare them to the best players in the league. However, Yermin Mercedes only has 87 career at-bats. 86 of those came this year, as he only hit the field once last year. Clearly, this is not a large enough sample size for me to make any judgments based on career numbers.
With that being said, he is doing excellent so far this season. He is third in the league with a .395 batting average, which is complemented by his five home run blasts. In addition, he performed well in the minors with a .317 BA and 23 home runs in 2019. Minor league stats aren’t that great indication because most pro players excel in the minors.
The Eye Test
Watching clips of Yermin Mercedes was crucially important in this case because I had very few analytics to work with. When you turn on a game it is obvious that Yermin Mercedes is a sight to behold as he is 5’11 and 245 pounds. He’s a big dude and almost reminds me of David Ortiz in that aspect. However, because of his size, I think he will always be limited in some regard. He will primarily bat, and even with tremendous power, it’s hard to imagine he can stretch out extra-base hits.
After watching some hits from his 8-for-8 start this season, I like his swing. He showed the great capability of just getting on base when behind in a pitcher’s count. Five of those eight hits came after he had two strikes. The ability to get on base with two strikes is extremely valuable and managers around the league could use a guy like Yermin.
This early in his pro career, I am hesitant to label Yermin Mercedes a future star. I do believe he has all the tools to be a star, but I need to see more before I give a definitive answer. He’s 28 years old, and there is a reason he has just made it to the big leagues. I think his work as a catcher is not up to par with others in the majors, making him primarily a threat from the DH position.
Overall, I’m sure the Yerminator is hungrier than most rookies due to his late call-up. That determination mixed with the ability to fight his way out of two-strike at-bats makes him a very intriguing prospect. Right now, I won’t say he’s a future star for sure because it’s just too small of a sample size. However, I am more than ready for the Yerminator to prove me wrong.