Second baseman Melvin Mercedes has been named to the Atlantic League’s Red, White, and Blue All-Defensive Team, it was announced today by league officials.
Mercedes, 30, is in his third season with the Barnstormers, but it is the first time he has gone through the year without a significant injury. A former utility player in the Oakland system, Mercedes found a home at second base. He appeared in 112 games at second base with only 13 errors and a fielding percentage of .975.
In addition to the steady play in the field, Mercedes displayed tremendous range in both directions, an ability to go deep in the outfield after pop flies and creativity in the field. One case in point came on Friday, September 16, when he ranged into the right side hole against Southern Maryland, saw no one covering first, and fired toward the plate, eventually cutting down a runner to preserve a 5-2 Lancaster lead.
“Melvin loves to play the game and takes his craft of playing second base very seriously,” said manager Ross Peeples. “He is our energy bug. He is fun to watch whenever he is out there.”
Late in the season, he was moved to center field on occasion and played flawlessly in the outfield as well. He made the final two plays in center as the Barnstormers clinched the North Division title on Sunday.
Mercedes was the only Barnstormer named to the team, joining three players each from Southern Maryland and Gastonia, one from York and one from High Point.