On May 14th, 2019, Oscar Mercado finally was given his chance to shine on baseball’s brightest stage: the major leagues. The Cleveland Indians were in Chicago that day, facing off against the White Sox. With four plate appearances and three at bats, Mercado scored a run for the Indians. It would help contribute to an eventual 9-0 win for Cleveland, and an impressive debut for the young Mercado. It had seemed that his relentless endeavors had finally paid off.
Oscar Mercado was born on December 16th, 1994 in Cartagena, Colombia. At the age of seven, Mercado, along with his family (which included his older brother and twin sister) immigrated to the United States on his father’s (Oscar Sr.) work visa. They would settle in Tampa, Florida, and Mercado would attend Gaither High School. He decided to aspire for a career in baseball, and after graduation he headed for the minor leagues right away, rather than accept a scholarship from Florida State University.
In 2013, Mercado participated in the 2013 MLB Draft. With the 58th selection in the second round, he was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals. After signing with the team, Mercado was sent to the play for their minor league squad, the Gulf Coast Cardinals. In 42 games, he would have a batting average of about 0.21, and 14 runs batted in (RBI). Mercado would then have the opportunity to represent his native Colombia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Although they would not advance to the knockout round, it was still a monumental step for Mercado and his dream to have a chance to play on an MLB pitch. The following year, on July 31st, Mercado was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Similar to his time in St. Louis, Mercado would once again be assigned to a minor league team right away, this time with the Columbus Clippers. After finishing his season with Columbus, he would seize his opportunity with Cleveland, and took the 140 mile trip up north to the shores of Lake Erie to play for his new major league squad.
Mercado has impressed Cleveland fans during his stint with the team. Last season, he played in 115 games and maintained a batting average of 0.27 as well. That same year, Mercado also stole a total of 15 bases, the 16th best mark in that category for the American League. He became an American citizen in March of 2018, and hopes to continue to impress for the Indians and their loyal, passionate fans