It's only fitting that Yermín Mercedes' first two games of the year have come in the shadows of Disneyland. Chicago's No. 21 prospect is living in a fantasy world to begin 2021.
One night after going 5-for-5, Mercedes homered, doubled and singled in his first three plate appearances Saturday to become the first player in the modern era (since 1900) to begin a season with eight consecutive hits. Five of his base knocks have come with two strikes, including his first Major League home run, which opened the scoring during a 5-3 loss to the Angels.
Starting his second career game, Mercedes grounded a hard single up the middle in his second at-bat and gave Chicago a short-lived 3-2 lead with an RBI double to left in the sixth. The 28-year-old was finally retired for the first time this season in the eighth on a flyout to center fielder Mike Trout.
Mercedes is 8-for-9 with two doubles and a homer and is tied with San Diego's Eric Hosmer for the Major League lead with six RBIs.
A catcher by trade, the Dominican Republic native has been Chicago's designated hitter in each of its first two games. Originally signed by the Nationals as an undrafted free agent in 2011, Mercedes latched onto the Orioles in 2014 before being claimed off waivers by the White Sox three years later.
More notable top prospect performances:
Garrett Crochet, LHP, CWS (MLB No. 56)
Crochet picked up right where he left off last year after he became the first player member of the Draft class of 2020 to reach the bigs. Making his first appearance of the season, the 6-foot-6, 230-pounder retired all seven batters he faced, striking out three while reaching 99 mph. Crochet is unscored upon in five career appearances spanning 8 1/3 innings. Gameday »
Taylor Trammell, OF, SEA (MLB No. 99)
Trammell picked up his first career hit as part of a 1-for-4 night at the plate in the Mariners' 4-0 win over the Giants. The 23-year-old outfielder drove an 0-2 pitch into the gap and collected an RBI double on a hit that had a 101.7 mph exit velocity. Gameday »
Ryan Weathers, LHP, SD (MLB No. 100)
The son of former Major Leaguer David Weathers earned a three-inning save in his Major League debut to help the Padres complete a three-game sweep of the D-backs. Weathers struck out three and allowed a single in the ninth before inducing Tim Locastro into a game-ending double play. The 21-year-old was the seventh overall pick in the 2018 Draft. Gameday »
Jonathan India, 2B/3B, CIN
India singled twice and collected his first Major League RBI the hard way, getting plunked with the bases loaded. The 24-year-old has consecutive multi-hit efforts and is 4-for-7 with a double to begin life as a big leaguer. Playing second base, India made a nice sliding stop up the middle and threw from his knees to nab John Nogowski. Gameday »
Kyle Isbel, OF, KC
After posting a three-hit game in his Major League debut on Thursday, Isbel collected two more knocks against the Rangers on Saturday. The first was a fly ball that Texas center fielder Leody Taveras lost in the sun, giving Isbel a triple, but the second was a liner up the middle for an RBI. The 24-year-old outfielder had never played a game as high as the Double-A level until Opening Day, but he's 5-for-8 with three RBIs through two big league games. Gameday »
Zach McKinstry, OF, LAD
McKinstry entered the game against the Rockies as part of a double switch in the seventh inning, but it was what he did in his first at-bat in the eighth that he'll remember. The 25-year-old earned his first Major League home run the hard way, racing around the bases after his opposite-field poke eluded left-fielder Raimel Tapia's glove and bounced off the top of the fence. McKinstry slugged a career-high 19 homers across two Minor League levels in 2019. More »
Chas McCormick, OF HOU
McCormick, the Astros' No. 19 prospect, scored a pair of runs and picked up his first career hit in Houston's 9-1 win over Oakland. McCormick nearly went yard as the ball bounced off the base of the wall, but an RBI double (102.3 mph exit velocity) is still a pretty solid way for anyone to pick up their first career hit. Gameday »
Tanner Houck, RHP, BOS
After allowing a single to Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins to start the game, Houck retired seven in a row -- the last five on strikeouts. All told, he tallied eight punchouts over five innings, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and a walk. His fastball topped out at 96.3 mph, according to Statcast, but he consistently hit 95. Over his Major League career, which includes three starts last year, the 24-year-old righty has fanned 29 over 22 innings and held the opposition to five runs -- three earned. More »
Jazz Chisholm Jr., SS, MIA (MLB No. 66)
Chisholm went 0-for-4 at the plate in Miami's 12-7 win over the Rays, but showed that he's capable of impacting a game with his legs. The Marlins' No. 4 prospect drew a walk in the fourth inning and then put his wheels on full display. Chisholm took an aggressive lead off first base and stole second, despite lefty Rich Hill stepping off the rubber and throwing to second. On the next pitch, he stole third. And then, just in case anyone doubted his speed, he completed the thrilling trip around the bases as he scored from third on a shallow sacrifice fly, reaching 30.6 ft/sec on the dash to home. More »