Tigers in EST: Melvin Mercedes

Melvin Mercedes shot up Tigers prospect lists this offseason after leading the Gulf Coast League with 16 saves in 2009.

Photo courtesy of Roger DeWitt

He began his professional career in 2008, spending one season in the Dominican Summer League before arriving stateside in 2009.  He had a successful season as the GCL Tigers closer a year ago, posting a 1.82 ERA in 25.0 innings pitched, while recording 20 strikeouts.

Mercedes opened the 2010 season with the West Michigan Whitecaps, but was demoted to extended spring training after allowing 11 earned runs in 19.2 innings pitched.  The main reason for Mercedes’ struggles with the Whitecaps was poor command, as he was allowing 8.7 walks per nine innings.

Throwing strikes has never been easy for Mercedes, who also had fairly high walk rates in the DSL and GCL.  If he can harness his command, he projects as a power reliever with closer potential.  The scouting report on his TigsTown.com profile says he throws a 93-94 mph fastball with “explosive late life” and a potentially above-average curveball.

Mercedes will be assigned to Connecticut when the New York-Penn League season begins.  He is a strong candidate to serve as the closer for the Connecticut Tigers.

Name: Melvin Mercedes

DOB: Nov. 2, 1990

Birthplace: El Seibo, Dominican Republic

Bats-Throws: Right-Right

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