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  • International Player Profile: Yasser Mercedes

    Cody Christie

    Yasser Mercedes has the tools to rank him as one of the best international prospects in this year's signing class. So, what separates him from the other player the Twins will sign?

    Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports

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    According to MLB Pipeline, Yasser Mercedes is the highest-ranked player projected to sign with the Twins in the current signing class. He ranks 17th overall, and he projects as the eighth-best outfield prospect. Cristian Vaquero is the top-ranked outfielder in the class, and he has the same overall grade (55) as Mercedes. Comparing the two players shows how close the top prospects can rank, especially while they are still only halfway through their teenage years. 

    In the summer of 2019, Mercedes was one of 50 teenagers who traveled to Chicago for the Dominican Prospect League's Elite Underclass Series. MLB.com named him on the list of possible "future stars" included on that travel team. His trainer throughout the scouting process has been Hector Evertz, who is a member of MLB's Trainer Partnership Program. According to MLB, "the Trainer Partnership program is a collaboration between MLB and independent trainers to help develop international baseball while addressing important issues in the international market." 

    Yasser Mercedes Scouting Report 
    Bats: R | Throws: R | HT 6'3" | WT: 180
    MLB Pipeline Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

    Mercedes has the best overall tools of any player in Minnesota's signing class because the other top two signees currently rank lower in one tool or another. Some players look great on the practice field, and their skills never translate to actual gameplay, but Mercedes can already put it all together during game action. At the plate, he has the skill set to be an average hitter with average power, which can be valuable when combined with solid defense at a critical up-the-middle defensive position. 

    Defensively, Mercedes has the tools and athleticism to stick in center field. His run and field tools grade the highest, and they both help to bring up his overall grade. Right now, his speed allows him to make up for inefficient routes to the ball. As he develops, Twins coaches will work with him to improve his route running in center. He already has a solid frame, and his arm should continue to develop as he adds muscle. Many believe his skill set will allow him to stick in center field for the long term, and that's what makes him the highest-ranked prospect in Minnesota's signing class. 

    International players play a vital role in an organization building depth and helping to get back into contention. Minnesota has multiple regular players currently on the roster signed initially as international free agents. The team hasn't found the next Jorge Polanco or Luis Arraez in recent years, but one player from the current class might help reshape the organization in the years to come. 

    What stands out to you about Mercedes? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

    Yilber Herrera
    Bryan Acuña
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    That was nicely written.  Thank you!  His all around skills look good.  Would have been nice to see 60 speed there for center but he is only 16 so a little to room to run better there.  It is an exciting skillset and he is not done growing physically so could look even better down the road.  Happy to see the team focusing more on centerfield options as the system looks short there and at Shortstop.  Happy he will be a Twin.

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    Nice rhythm in his swing, but it looks like his spray chart would land every hit ball within a ten foot circle. Hoping Twins coaches can help him spread the hits a little more around the park.

    Good throwing motion, needs to cock his head over a bit more and develop more accurate footwork to get more consistent results. Oh how I miss Michael Cuddyer's rocket arm, and Pucket's gun from center...Both those guys could throw a freaking strike to 2B right from the warning track. Aaron Hicks, too. What an arm! I remember that very few runners would challenge Hicks, especially after they saw him gun one to the infield. Right center to third base, on the fly, steee-rike! Left field to home, on target, 105 mph... Sheesh!

    Power pitchers that convert to outfielders...find me more of those!

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    What will be interesting, should the Twins sign all three they are rumored to ink, is what the bonuses will be?  Can they get Mercedes for $2.0M?  Will the other two, both ranked mid-30's, sign for around $800k?  If so, they would have $2.0+ remaining to sign another 10-20 kids for an average of $100k or so.  


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    These international signings are so young. Just turned 17 a few months back and already 6’3” and only 180, plenty of room to put on muscle and at that age it’s possible to add another inch or so to the vertical. Not a speedster. A corner outfield position seems likeliest when he fills out  

    From the one BP video I saw he has a short and simple swing w natural power. 

    Like Mr Andujar used to say, In baseball you never know. He may turn out to be the best in his class. Good luck to him.

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    You gotta remember.....he'd be a sophomore/junior in high school if he was in the US.   He's swinging a wood bat, not the juiced up aluminum/bbcor stuff the high school/college players are using here.  Taking that into account, his swing and skills are even more impressive. 

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