Yermin Mercedes won't soon forget his first Major League hit. Or the four others that followed.
Playing in his first game since last August, Mercedes wasted little time getting into the hit column. The 28-year-old fell behind, 1-2, before lining an 86-mph fastball into left field for his first Major League knock. He stroked a two-run single to left in his next at-bat and added two more in the seventh and eighth innings. With two runners on and two outs in the ninth, Mercedes doubled to put a capper on his evening.
The native of the Dominican Republic was one of the top-hitting catchers during his Minor League career, batting .302/.366/.491. Although Mercedes appeared in only 95 games in 2019, he established career highs with 23 homers and 80 RBIs while hitting .317 with Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte.
Mercedes made his big league debut last Aug. 2 and was hitless in one at-bat. He put together a strong Cactus League season, compiling a .277 average and eight RBIs in 47 at-bats.
More notable performances from top prospects on Friday:
Michael Kopech, RHP, CWS (MLB No. 39)
Stepping on a Major League mound for the first time in nearly three years, Kopech looked as good as ever during his two-inning stint out of the bullpen. The 24-year-old struck out three and allowed a hit and a walk while hitting 99 mph multiple times in his first appearance since Sept. 5, 2018. The No. 2 White Sox prospect missed all of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and elected to sit out last season. More »
Ryan Mountcastle, OF/1B, BAL (MLB No. 77)
Serving as Baltimore’s designated hitter in the opener at Boston, Mountcastle logged his first hit of the season in the form of a two-bagger off the Green Monster. The 2015 first-rounder hammered an inside 3-2 fastball from righty Matt Andriese off the upper half of the wall in the sixth inning. Mountcastle had five doubles and five homers over 35 games for the Orioles last year. More »
Jazz Chisholm Jr., 2B, MIA (MLB No. 66)
After going hungry on Opening Day, Chisholm collected two hits – including a triple that left his bat at 108.6 mph -- and worked a walk against the Rays. The fourth-ranked Marlins prospect singled up the middle against Tampa Bay left-hander Ryan Yarbrough in the fifth, then clubbed a one-hopper off the wall in right against righty Chaz Roe. Chisholm was 9-for-56 (.161) over 21 games for Miami last year, but four of those hits went for extra bases. Gameday »
Chris Rodriguez, RHP, LAA Rodriguez enjoyed a successful big league debut, tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out three. The Angels' fourth-ranked prospect fanned Yoan Moncada on three pitches and sandwiched two more strikeouts around a single in the sixth. Rodriguez yielded a single and a walk before he was removed from the game the following inning. Gameday »
Bryan Abreu, RHP, HOU
A largely ineffective outing by starter Cristian Javier led Abreu into Friday's game with two on and two outs in the fourth inning. The Astros' No. 14 prospect retired Elvis Andrus to keep his club's lead intact and worked around a hit, a walk and a wild pitch over two more scoreless frames, to pick up his first Major League win. Gameday »
Jordan Sheffield, RHP, COL
Facing the team that drafted him five years ago, Sheffield blanked the Dodgers in a perfect frame in his Major League debut. Plucked from Los Angeles in last December's Rule 5 Draft, the No. 30 Rockies prospect retired Matt Beatty, Mookie Betts and Corey Seager in succession. Sheffield topped out at 97 mph while throwing seven of his 13 pitches for strikes. Gameday »