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Friday, April 5, 2013

Luis Mercedes waited his turn, then got back to the bigs; Played in three major league seasons

Luis Mercedes hoped for a return to the majors out of spring training in 1992. What he got was a return to AAA, according to The Baltimore Sun.

"He wouldn't be human if he wasn't disappointed. There's a lot of great things going on here," Mercedes' agent Mike Powers told The Sun after the decision was made. "He was in a tough situation here -- he'll go down and wait his turn."

Mercedes' turn did eventually come again that year, a turn that lasted for 23 games with Baltimore, after 19 he logged the season before. In all, Mercedes' turns got him to the bigs in parts of three seasons, playing with both the Orioles and the Giants.

Mercedes' career began in 1987, signed by the Orioles as an undrafted free agent out of his native Dominican Republic.

With the Orioles, Mercedes started at rookie Bluefield, hitting .274 in 59 games. He moved to single-A Frederick in 1989 and then AA Hagerstown in 1990.

At Hagerstown, Mercedes hit .334, stealing 38 bases. He also made the Eastern League season-ending All-Star team. For 1991, Mercedes made AAA Rochester. In September, he made Baltimore.

As a September 1991 call up, Mercedes got into 19 games, hitting .204. Returning for 1992, Mercedes got into those 23 games, but hit just .140.

In late-September 1992, Mercedes looked forward to 1993, hoping for a regular spot on the Baltimore roster, or some other major league roster, according to The Sun.

"I never get frustrated because I'm a young man," Mercedes told The Sun. "No matter what they do to me, I have to keep my mind going all the way. No matter if it's here or somewhere else, I'll keep going, and I'll play hard and give 110 percent all the time."

Mercedes started 1993 with Baltimore, getting into 10 games in April, hitting .292. In late-April, though, he was sent to the Giants for Kevin McGehee. With the Giants, Mercedes got into 18 games, hitting .160. They were the last 16 games of his major league career.

After not being recorded as playing in 1994, Mercedes returned for one final season as a pro in 1995. He got 25 games with the Pirates at AAA Calgary, playing the remainder of the year in Mexico, ending his career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,060
Made the Majors: 656 - 61.9%-X
Never Made Majors: 404-38.1%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 286
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 169

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