Jordy Mercer has gotten a bad rap this year. The veteran shortstop was brought in during the offseason to help stabilize a Tigers infield that needed some sort of veteran addition, but he has struggled to stay on the field for parts of the 2019 season.
Mercer played his 43rd game of the year on Thursday, and capped it with a bang; his two-run walk-off homer gave the Tigers a 10-8 win over the Kansas City Royals.
While we’re on record saying Mercer shouldn’t take playing time away from younger players down the stretch, the 32-year-old is having a better season than his 83 wRC+ suggests. His barrel and hard hit rates were both well above career norms heading into Thursday’s game, and he added one more to the list with this opposite field blast.