Jordy Mercer is the latest player to be added to the list of former Pittsburgh Pirates after signing a one-year deal with the Tigers.
2013 was a magical year for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the year the team ended its 20-year losing season streak as well as its first time making the playoffs since 1992.
2013 was also a magical year for shortstop Jordy Mercer who was playing his first full year at the Major League level. Mercer played in 103 games that year and batted .285 in 365 plate appearances.
The shortstop was as much of a staple to turning the organization around as Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte or Josh Harrison. However, now that Mercer has signed with the Tigers, Marte is the only one that remains out of the Pirates’ core that changed everything.
Mercer was one of the best in the league with the glove posting a career .980 fielding percentage in seven seasons with the Pirates. He was on the field for 6389.2 innings for the Pirates from being called up in 2012 until his last game with the team in 2018.
Mercer’s career .256 batting average was just a small statistic compared to his .315 on base percentage while he was batting in the all important, yet difficult, eight spot in the lineup with the pitcher looming in the on deck circle while he was in the box.
There is no doubt that Pirate fans should be thankful for Mercer due to his consistency and the fact that he was out there more often than any other player on the team. While he didn’t get as much recognition as McCutchen, some could argue he was just as important, if not more, that the MVP center fielder in his time with the black and gold.
Mercer will now move on and dawn a new jersey. However, do not fret Pirate fans. As you probably already know, the MLB has the Tigers and Pirates play two series every year to create a “rivalry” between the teams and the cities. Mercer will return to PNC Park June 18 and 19 when the Tigers come to Pittsburgh.
Look for a nice tribute for Mercer and a well-deserved standing ovation, similar to the ones that McCutchen and A.J. Burnett received in their return to the North Shore. Mercer was a part of the group that brought winning baseball back to Pittsburgh. We, as fans, should be forever grateful for what he brought to the table game in and game out for the organization.