Orlando Mercado Jr.

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Orlando J. Mercado

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Orlando Mercado Jr. has played as high as AAA. His father Orlando Mercado played and coached in the major leagues.

Mercado was picked out of high school, chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 6th round of the 2003 amateur draft. In his pro debut, he hit .213/.275/.277 in 23 games for the Missoula Osprey. He spent the winter with the Carolina Giants.

Orlando made his AAA debut before he ever played A ball, going 0 for 2 for the 2004 Tucson Sidewinders in June, helping fill in when two of Tucson's catchers got called up to the majors. Sent back down to the Yakima Bears, he hit .266/.353/.389. He was the hardest batter to strike out in the Northwest League, with one K per 12.5 AB. He led the circuit's backstops in assists (38) and tied for the double play lead (3). Baseball America named him the #18 prospect in the NWl, between Ross Ohlendorf and Mike Nickeas; catchers ahead of him were Kurt Suzuki (#12) and Landon Powell (#16).

In 2005, Mercado missed over a month due to a right hand fracture. He batted .249/.346/.373 for the South Bend Silver Hawks that season. In '06, Orlando hit .247/.344/.428 for South Bend with 11 home runs and 58 RBI in 292 AB. He was third on the club in home runs and RBI and second in slugging. Among those he outslugged was Justin Upton.

Orlando batted .256/.418/.398 with the 2007 Visalia Oaks, walking in 51 of 275 plate appearances. Despite being part of a 3-catcher rotation, he still was second on the club in walks (51). In 2008, he hit .227/.357/.289 as the second-string catcher for the Mobile BayBears, including just a .183 average against right-handed pitchers. He also pitched a game, tossing a shutout inning on July 7 and getting the win.

Mercado hit .294/.380/.387 in 71 games for Mobile in 2009 and moved up to Tucson, batting .289/.400/.333 in 17 contests. He then joined Puerto Rico for the 2009 Baseball World Cup.


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