Guess what, snitches? We’re done with the fantasy baseball rookies and onto the 2020 fantasy baseball sleepers! Can I get a what-WHAT?! No, the 2nd what is louder, not from the standing position. That’s what caps mean. No, it’s not said while wearing a baseball cap. Forget it! I’m moving on! So, I just had a flashback that scared me. Can I share it with you? Thanks for being so kind. Okay, I was looking at Oscar Mercado and his minor league stats and how he stole 50 bags one year in the minors and is capable of hitting 20+ homers and I was like, “Hey, it’s nice to see Michael Saunders reemerge,” then I shot up in bed in a panic, ran to the sink to splash water on my face, realized I don’t trust sink water so I splashed Evian on my face and had my maid, Graciela, cry for me, then I realized I don’t have a maid or Evian and this was a dream within a dream and I woke up again in a fright only to wonder if I was still asleep. The moral of the story, don’t fall asleep while watching Inception. Now that I’ve got the comparison to Michael Saunders out of the way, and have blotted Graciela’s tears — “You want chiclets, Graciela, they always make you feel better?” — let’s look at Oscar Mercado after this awkward sentence of us saying we’re going to look at Oscar Mercado. So…So!…So… So, what can we expect from Oscar Mercado for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
The Oscar Mercado’s got power and speed. Tell ’em what we think of that, Lil Nas X — Yeehaw! Last year in 438 ABs, Mercado went 15/15/.269. His 5.8% walk rate was a little bit low for him, since he had 10-plus percent figures in Triple-A, and, speaking of A3, if you combine his stats between both levels last year, he had a 19/29 year. At 24 years of age, Mercado looks like he’s just starting to come into his own for power and speed. Prior to last year, and through maybe a little juiced-ball coaxing, his power seemed to blossom. Mercado seemed like an under-10 homer guy, but now there’s no such thing. By the by, I’ll prolly say this a few dozen times between now and next year, but about that juiced ball. As some of you know, MLB apparently used a different ball in the postseason, and homers cratered. So, which ball will MLB use in 2020, the rocket balls or the Dead Ball Era balls with polio? I don’t know. Logic — my logic, not the rapper — tells me they’ll use the juiced ball again, but I don’t know, which, honestly, makes it fun. Not sure it matters either. It’s not like, say, the Indians will use a rocket ball and everyone else won’t. So if everyone gets 35 homers or 15 homers, it doesn’t matter because everyone’s dealing with the same unknown. Back to Oscar Michael Saunderscado! He had a top fifteen Speed Score, and would’ve been top three if his minor league score carried over. His Sprint Speed (ft/sec) is 29.5. To give you an idea, Mallex Smith, who I think we agree is fast, had a 29.4. Trea Turner is 30.3; Victor Robles is 29.3; you get the point. Mercado is inherently fast. Even if the rocket balls continue, speed was declining. Jonathan Villar being a top 11 overall guy last year on the Player Rater shows you how valuable speed is. (Villar is only 27.9 ft/sec, by the way.) Anyone who gets power and speed is a legit candidate for a top 50 overall season. If Mercado can sneak into a 15+ homer season with 35 steals (honestly, I don’t think this is outrageous), then he’s a top 25 overall candidate. Will he be drafted anywhere near any of these numbers? Not. At. Wait for it…here it comes…ready…or not… All! Not at all! Is what I was saying. Then. Before. Suddenly, Yoda I’m talking like. Cause I’m the poor syntax man, yeah, the poor syntax man. For 2020, I’ll give Oscar Mercado projections of 78/17/63/.261/31 in 564 ABs with a chance for more.