The sensation that is sweeping the nation will make it’s first stop in Chicago. The man nicknamed the Yerminator has been taking the baseball world by storm with his unprecedented start to the season. Yermin Mercedes will continue his impressive tour of demolishing baseball’s in today’s home opener for the Chicago White Sox.

During his first two stops in Los Angeles and Seattle he complied an impressive list of accolades, making some baseball history along the way. On Monday he was awarded AL Player of the Week for his efforts.  It has been a long road for Yermin Mercedes but it was worth the wait.  He is the hero the Chicago White Sox need, but not the one they deserve.

A Spectacular Debut From An Unlikely Hero

Yermin Mercedes had just one major league at bat prior to the 2021 season. Before that he spent nearly a decade trying to climb his way out of the minor leagues. During that time he made some stops playing in an Independent League as well as the Dominican Summer League. At some points, Mercedes thought about quitting baseball. He stayed persistent and got an opportunity with the Chicago White Sox.

He entered 2021 Spring Training as a long shot to make the Opening Day roster. The White Sox already had two catchers ahead of him on the depth chart before they added Jonathan Lucroy to compete for the job. Mercedes impressed during his limited Cactus League action. Then an injury to Eloy Jimenez opened the door for Mercedes to make the Opening Day roster. It was all hands on deck for the White Sox.

Mercedes rewarded the White Sox with a spectacular debut. He went 5-for-5 with a double and four RBI’s in the White Sox 12-8. He followed that up by launching a home run the following day and tacking on two more hits for good measure. He did not record an out until the top of the seventh inning when he flew out to center field. Mercedes became the first player since 1900 to start a season with eight consecutive hits. Along with earning a place in White Sox folk lore he also etched his name into the record books.

History In The Making

Mercedes is currently leading the American League in batting average (.565), on base percentage (.583) and hits (13). He had 12 hits in his first four career starts, which are the most by any player in the modern era.

Mercedes is also the first player with three or more hits in a game three times in his first four career starts since Roy Campanella in 1948. Campenella is now in the Hall of Fame, so Mercedes is keeping some pretty good company.

His 12 hits in the first four games are the most that any White Sox player has ever hit during the first four games of a season. He surpassed Ducky Homes mark of 11 in 1904.

Mercedes also is the first White Sox player with three hits or more in a game three times in his first four games of a season. The MLB had no choice but to give him American League Player of the Week honors. He became the White Sox rookie since Jose Abreu to win American League player of the week in the month of April.

The Reason Behind The Hot Start

How does a 28 year old journey man become one of the funnest players in baseball? The answer is simple. He is “keeping it Yermin”. Mercedes fellow catcher, Yasmani Grandal approached him before the season to give him some advice. What he told him has set the tone for Mercedes season.

According to Mercedes, Grandal said:

“He talked with me and said, Keep doing what you are doing all the time. Don’t try to change if somebody tells you to change this or change this. He said, ‘Keep it Yermín.’ I’m Yermín, so I don’t want to do another thing. ‘Just be the same guy all the time. Don’t change anything. If you do something, keep doing that.’ That’s helped me a lot. He talked with me and I (said), ‘You are right. I tried to do another thing, and it’s not working much.’ But then I came back, and I do Yermín.”

‘Keeping it Yermin’ has worked up to this point. At this rate he may be taking home an AL MVP.

 

Mitchell Kaminski
Mitchell studies sports communications at Bradley University and works for Braves Vision, an organization that works alongside ESPN broadcasting games and covering Bradley sports. Creator of Dorm Room Dispute podcast.