Through September 30, 2000
& Scouting Report
February 1, 1968, Dublin , Ohio
Selected by the Atlanta Braves in the first round (fifth pick overall) of the 1986 free-agent draft.
Signed by the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent on Dec. 10, 1996
Kent Mercker recovered from an awful start to pitch decently in the Cardinals rotation before being traded to the Red Sox on August 24 for a pair of fringe prospects. He pitched well in two starts for Boston before pulling a ribcage muscle that sidelined him for most of September. He returned in time to win the wild-card clincher on September 29, but fared poorly in two postseason starts.
Pitching & Defense
Unlike most lefties, Mercker can touch the low 90s with a fastball that he can cut or sink. He mixes in a solid curveball and changeup, which gives him a decent arsenal. Still, batters have hit .301 against Mercker the last two seasons. Control problems have been a chronic concern. He's a so-so fielder and permitted just three steals in 12 attempts in 1999.
Mercker won't return to Boston after he declared free agency and the club didn't offer him arbitration. His numbers usually aren't pretty, but he has won enough in recent years to keep teams interested in him. He's a fourth or fifth starter at best.
Scouting Report Source: STATS, Inc. Copyright 2000 STATS, Inc.
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