2022 Pre-Season SF Giants Prospects: 30-21
28. Manuel Mercedes
Weight: 162 lbs.
Projected Level: Arizona (ROK)
MLB ETA: 2026
Tool Grades: (Present/Future)
FB 50/70 | SL 40/50 | CH 30/45 | CMD 20/45
PV 20 | FV 40
Mercedes was not one of the top international FA signees by the Giants in the 2019 IFA cycle but he is certainly the most intriguing out of anyone as he opened eyes during the quarantine when he was reported to have a mid-90s velocity with the chance to touch triple digits. He began his baseball journey Stateside and while the numbers were not there for him, he certainly passes the eye test.
The Dominican has all the ingredients of a future big leaguer. His frame is perfect for a starting pitcher and his athleticism is plus or better. His athleticism is evident in his mechanics, a slinging motion that results in him throwing from a low-¾ arm slot with electric arm speed, reminding some of Jacob deGrom. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with plenty of tailing life and some sink because of his low arm slot. His slider flashes above average but is more of an average pitch with a late break. His feel for his changeup is still raw, but there’s potential for the pitch to be average or better.
It should not come as a surprise that Mercedes is as raw and volatile as they come in the farm system loaded with power arms. His potential is as high as anyone in all of baseball, as his combination of athleticism and sheer stuff has endless possibilities. However, he is as raw as they come in terms of feel for his arsenal and his mechanics.
The expectation for Mercedes heading to this season is that the Giants coaches will be aggressive on him and place him in a full-season ball, but going back to Arizona is a safer and more logical choice. The Mercedes of last season and the Mercedes a year from now should be completely different and hopefully, he takes the necessary steps to fully realize his ace potential.