Mercer Doing Much by Not Doing too Much

Jordy Mercer speaks about his red hot bat.

Noah Hiles
June 21, 2018 - 9:55 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – As a six year veteran in the major leagues, Jordy Mercer knows that it is important to stay composed and stick to the original plan throughout the course of all the ups and downs that come along in a 162 game season.

Following a slow start at the plate in 2018, Mercer has began to heat up in the past month or so, hitting .303 with seven doubles, a home run and nine runs batted in in the last 28 days.

“It’s kind of just the way it has been going for the past six years,” said Mercer. “I stay with my approach, knowing that it’s going to eventually change and try not to get worked up over not getting off to a hot start. It’s such a long season; we still have four months to go so it was just a matter of time before things started to change.”

Arguably the most noticeable change in Mercers production at the plate has been his recent power numbers. Entering the Pirates game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday evening, Mercer was slugging .500 in the month of June with six doubles and a home run. Though things currently seem to be going better for Mercer in the batters box than they have been all season, he insists that nothing has changed in the way he attacks pitchers.

“I have stayed with the same approach and the balls have just been going to the gaps,” said Mercer. “I have been hitting a lot of doubles; you obviously don’t try to but that’s just the way it is when you put yourself in a good situation to hit. When you put yourself in a good count those balls are hit harder and further which leads to doubles, triples and homeruns.”

While Mercer has just recently started to hit for more power, he has had good numbers at PNC Park all season long. In the 33 games Mercer has played in at home this year he has reached base safely in all but two of them. This season Mercer has a slash line of .313/.370/.461 on games played in the North Shore, including 13 extra base hits and 10 RBI.

“It’s always nice to be home, obviously, but I don’t really have a preference on where [I play],” said Mercer. “I think I just kind of happened to get off to a good start at home early in the season and I didn’t get off to a good start on the road. Those numbers are a little bit skewed for me but it is nice to be home and be comfortable here; obviously I know this park really well too, so I think that helps.”

An area that Mercer has helped his team in more than anyone else has been in crunch time. Mercer has a slash line of .307/.357/.485 in his at bats that have been in the sixth inning or later this year. More than half of Mercer’s total hits and extra base hits have also came in the sixth inning or later.

“I think you raise your level of intensity,” said Mercer when asked about his late inning success at the dish. “Obviously there are only a few innings left so those runs are very hard to come by toward the end of the game. I think whenever you come up in situations with guys on base your level of intensity and your focus increase. You’re trying to scratch away a couple of more runs before you get the ball to (Vazquez) in the ninth.”