Phillies Prospect Breakdown: Michael Mercado, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies, MLB.

Back in 2017, Mercado was a Top 100 Draft prospect, offering a combination of stuff, feel, and projection. The Rays took him in the second round that June and went over slot with a bonus of $2,132,400 to sign him away from his commitment to Stanford. He tore his UCL during his first full season of pro ball and had Tommy John surgery in 2019. That and the pandemic kept him off a competitive mound for nearly three years. He touched Triple-A in 2023 with the Rays before being acquired by the Phillies. Who added him to their 40-man roster, that offseason? He got off to a very good start in Triple-A during his first season with his new organization.

Now 25 years old, the 6-foot-4 Mercado still has an interesting pitching mix that gives him the chance to start. He came out of the gate in 2024 with a fastball sitting around 94-95 mph and occasionally touching as high as 98 with a good life up in the zone. He has both an upper-80s cutter, a pitch that tops out at 92 mph, and a low-80s curve that drops off the table, and both miss a ton of bats. He has a firm, upper-80s changeup he can fold in, but it’s a distant fourth pitch.

In the early stages with the Phillies, Mercado was doing a better job finding the strike zone than he did in his final year with the Rays, though as effective as his secondary offerings are, he doesn’t always land them consistently. He’s being stretched back out into a starter again after pitching almost exclusively in relief a year ago, with the chance to fulfill his potential as a big-league starter seven years after being drafted.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.