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Over/Under 2021 Preview: Oscar Mercado

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Will Oscar Mercado be worth more or less than 0.4 fWAR in 2021?

Philadelphia Phillies v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Based on ZiPS projections, Oscar Mercado is expected to finish 2021 with the following stats:

523 PA, 11 HR, 23 SB, 6.3 BB%, 22.4 K%, .242/.295/.370, 71 wRC+, 0.4 fWAR

Read what our writers think, then vote in the poll below and drop your own opinions in the comments and on the Let’s Go Tribe Discord.

Chris D. Davies’ Prediction: OVER

I can’t give up on Oscar Mercado. I don’t know what I find so fascinating about him, but he’s my guy and I’m riding with him — even after what could charitably be described as a wretched 2020 season.

What went wrong last year? Well, he stopped hitting, continued not walking, started striking out more, and hit with zero authority.

How can you explain that no good, very bad season? COVID-19?

Not really, but his 93 plate appearance sample is not much to go on. The little clues in that sample show that he went from average BABIP (.300) in 2019 to sixth-worst BABIP (.169; min. 90 PA). Beyond that, there is not much to go on to explain his cratering. He continued to hit the ball with about the same authority (88.2 mph average exit velocity, compared to 88.1 in 2019) and he did it at about the same rate (32.9% hard-hit rate compared to 34% in 2019).

His approach did not undergo a massive transformation either. He swung outside the zone less often (30.8% vs. 31.1%) and only slightly increased his swinging strike rate (13.1% vs. 11.3%). And his defense did not suffer at all. He was worth one out above average in center in just 56 attempts in 2020.

So, what happened last year to Oscar Mercado? Perhaps it was the same thing that happened to all of us and 2020 just sucked. I believe Mercado has the edge on the starting center field job coming into 2021 and with the confidence of the organization boosting him, I see no reason why he should not be worth more than 0.4 fWAR in 2021.

Poll

Will Oscar Mercado finish 2021 with an fWAR over or under 0.4?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Over
    (104 votes)
  • 34%
    Under
    (54 votes)
158 votes total Vote Now