Pittsburgh Pirates: Lets Build A Lineup

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates Mercer
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Jordy Mercer mashes left-handed pitchers, but right-handers are a different story.  Against left-handers, Mercer has a career .369 wOBA and 138 wRC+, while against right-handers, it’s a career .278 wOBA and 75 wRC+.

Overall, Mercer has been a below league average hitter, facing right-handed pitchers 335 percent more of the time.  His career wOBA is .298 with an 89 wRC+.  Over the last three seasons, Mercer has gone from a .291 wOBA to a .265 wOBA to a .304 wOBA.  2015 was a low light, posting a .203 wOBA and 24 wRC+ in April followed by a .202 wOBA and wRC+ of 24.

He’s often been criticized for his performance, fairly or not.  But he plays every day and he will make contact.  Mercer has a career strikeout rate of just 16 percent and a career-low 14.2 percent. His contact rate is 83.6 percent for his career, with a high of 85.8 percent last season.

Jordy projects once again to be a high contact hitter, STEAMER has him at a 15.8 percent strikeout rate.  Despite the high contact, Mercer does not make hard contact, just an 87.1 mph exit velocity for his career, and in 2016, Mercer just had a barrel per plate appearance of 1.5 percent.

Mercer projects to be the Pirates worst hitter, .303 wOBA.  His ISO of .122 projects to be much better than Cervelli’s, but Cervelli is a better hitter – about 11 percent better in terms of projection. This leaves Mercer in the eighth spot, which suits him well, and has been his spot most of his career.