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.
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OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
— Yilber Herrera
— Bryan Acuña
— International Signing Period History
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