Cleveland Indians: 3 players on pace to breakout in second half

Bobby Bradley #44 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Bobby Bradley #44 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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Oscar Mercado, Cleveland Indians
Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Oscar Mercado, OF, Cleveland Indians

Don’t close out the story just yet. Hear me out. While he’s had his fair share of troubles over the last year plus, Oscar Mercado is quietly finding his stride once again in Cleveland and could see an expanded role in the second half of the season. After spending most of 2020 at the alternate site, Mercado rejoined the Tribe on June 28 and has taken advantage of the opportunity.

Yes, it’s only been 12 games and yes Mercado only has 32 at-bats in 2021. However, he’s been one of the better options the team has tried in the outfield and that could grant him a lot more playing time if he can sustain that.

Over those 12 games, Mercado is slashing .281/.343/.500 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, four RBI and a pair of stolen bases. For comparison, Mercado’s slash line during his big 2019 season was .269/.318/.443.

The sample size is much smaller, but there is definitely some intrigue there. The key for Mercado will just be consistency. He had three hits in his first seven games up, all coming in one game, but since then he’s started to settle in and find his swing.

Over his last five games before the All-Star break, Mercado went 6-for-15 (.400), including another three-hit game to close out the first half. He also logged two doubles, a home run and all four of his RBI.

Hopefully the hot streak to close out the first half is a sign of things to come from Mercado. If he can get back to what we saw from him in 2019 that would be tremendous for the Cleveland Indians. He would essentially complete the outfield with Eddie Rosario and Harold Ramirez.