The minor league regular season comes to a close this weekend, which means teams don’t have much time left to get fans into the ballpark. Minor league clubs are always heavy on promotions as it is. The best of the best is usually reserved for the final home series.
On Saturday, the Single-A Stockton Ports (Athletics) used one of their players as part of a promotion. Utility player Melvin Mercedes played all nine positions in the team’s 8-3 win (box score) over the Bakersfield Blaze (Mariners). Here’s the promo:
Mercedes, 24, was the A’s 16th round pick in 2014. Although he has primarily played third base with Stockton this season, he has played almost every other position as well. Mercedes was only missing first base and catcher, and Saturday the team gave him a chance to complete the circuit.
“It felt great to see the view from every position,” said Mercedes to MiLB.com’s Michael Leboff. “I kept thinking about how cool it was that I got to see the game from the perspective of each different player. Everybody was asking, ‘Where do I go?’ when we switched, but I helped them out. They were cheering me on and just rooting for me to get through the day.”
Mercedes started the game at his usual third base, then went to short, second, first, catcher, left, center, and right before finishing the game on the mound. It was his first pro appearance at catcher and first base, though he’d played the positions in college and summer ball, so they weren’t completely foreign to him.
Here’s what the box score looked like as Mercedes moved around and his teammates shifted positions to accommodate him:
Hey, Mercedes also went 1 for 4 with a double and a walk, so in addition to playing all over the field, he also had a productive day at the plate. On top of that, Mercedes also struck out two in his inning on the mound. It was his third pitching appearance of the season. Here’s some video:
“It felt good to have a few runs to work with; I wasn’t worried,” said Mercedes to Leboff about his pitching appearance. “I closed like three or four games when I played summer ball and I like to pitch. I knew I just wanted to go in there and throw strikes.”
Only four players have played all nine positions in a single MLB game. Here’s the list:
- Bert Campaneris, Athletics: September 8, 1965
- Cesar Tovar, Twins: September 22, 1968
- Scott Sheldon, Rangers: September 6, 2000
- Shane Halter, Tigers: October 1, 2000
It’s worth noting Buster Posey played all nine positions in a game during his junior season at Florida State in 2008. Also, comedian Will Ferrell played all nine positions plus DH across five spring training games to help raise money for charity in 2015.
Mercedes is hitting .255/.356/.327 in 105 games this season and MLB.com does not rank him among the A’s top 30 prospects. You have to be a pretty good athlete to play all nine positions in one game though. They don’t let nobodies do that.
Source: CBS Sports / A’s prospect Melvin Mercedes plays all nine positions in Saturday’s game