Yermín Mercedes has already won his fair share of accolades in his first three months in a White Sox uniform, AL Player of the Week, AL Player of the Month, a burger and beer named after him. But the Yermínator is hungry for more. He wants a Home Run Derby Crown.
The 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Coors Field is rapidly approaching. When asked by Scott Merkin if he was interested in taking place in the festivities on July 12th, Mercedes flashed a broad smile.
“I want to be there, hear me right now. I want to be in the Home Run Derby for sure, I want to show my fans and everybody I can hit homers.”
Mercedes has already shown he can hit home runs. He currently ranks third on the White Sox with seven home runs behind Jose Abreu at 11 and Yasmani Grandal at nine. He’s tied for 49th overall in the American League.
During the home opener, he launched a home run 485 feet. That is the third-longest home run in White Sox history and the longest since the Statcast era (since 2015). He also has moon shots of 449 feet and 431 feet respectively.
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) April 11, 2021
The Home Run Derby where stars are made. Vladimir Guerro Jr introduced himself to the nation with his epic performance in 2019. Yermín Mercedes has the perfect amount of charisma and swagger to put on a show during All-Star Game weekend.
Yermín Mercedes has had plenty of practice hitting batting practice fastballs. He took the baseball world by storm after he unloaded on a 47mph beachball off of Twins third baseman Williams Austidillo. That ball traveled 429 feet and without the help of the Coors Field altitude.
Coors Field is known as one of the friendliest hitters parks in the MLB and should play to Mercedes raw power. His 485-foot blast during the home-opener is the longest home run of the season to date. He currently leads the MLB in the highest average home run distance.
A player with his nickname shaved into his hair, a hamburger named after him, tee-shirts bearing his nickname, and who performs regular theatrics on the field is just what the MLB needs on July 12th. Mercedes is a showman who was built for the big stage.
It’s only June and Yermín Mercedes has already had enough noteworthy moments to fill a book. He started the season by going 5-for-5 and followed that up with three more hits the next day including his first big league home run. Mercedes became the first player to start a season with eight consecutive hits. The rest of the month he went on a tear. His 12 hits in the first four games are the most any White Sox player has hit during the first four games of a season. Mercedes was named American Player of the Week. By the end of the month, he had a slash line of .415/.455/.659. and was awarded Rookie of the Month honors.
After making headlines for swinging at a 3-0 count and hitting a home run he went in a brutal slump. In his last 34 games he is hitting .202/.276/.289. He was in the midst of a hitless 25 at-bat stretch before hitting a walk-off single against the Tigers on June 4th.
The last White Sox player to perform in the Home Run Derby was Todd Frazier in 2016. He performed admirably finishing second.
“Yes, yes I want to be there,” Mercedes said emphatically. Winning the Home Run Derby would be icing on the cake for a player who has waited a long time for his big league opportunity.