(Redirected from Jesus Merchan)
Jesus Delfin Merchan
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 180 lb.
Jesus Merchan has played six seasons in AAA (through 2012).
Merchan signed originally with the Minnesota Twins; the scout was Enrique Brito. He hit .253/.348/.284 in 1999 for the VSL Marlins/Twins. In 2000, he played for the VSL Red Sox/Brewers/Twins (6 for 23, 3 BB, 3B) and the GCL Twins (.314/.393/.356 in 36 G). During 2001, he was the main shortstop for the Elizabethton Twins and hit .271/.306/.383. He was a utility infielder for the 2002 Quad City River Bandits, posting a .279/.336/.373 batting line in 92 games. In 2002-2003, he made his Venezuelan League debut for the Tigres de Aragua, going 0 for 1. Back with Quad Cities in the same role in 2003, he hit .296/.362/.390. He hit .343 in 67 at-bats for Aragua in 2003-2004; it would be five years until he again saw that much action in his homeland.
In 2004, Merchan hit .287/.336/.344 for the Fort Myers Miracle, backing up at the middle infield slots. He went 11 for 32 with two doubles for the 2004-2005 Tigres. He bounced around in the summer of 2005. He was 7 for 39 with a double and four walks for Fort Myers, then was released. The Philadelphia Phillies signed him and he split the remainder of the summer with the Lakewood BlueClaws (.277/.322/.339 in 28 G) and Reading Phillies (.265/.311/.325 in 48 G). He was 1 for 5 for the 2005-2006 Aguilas del Zulia.
Jesus split 2006 between Clearwater (4 for 12, 2B, 3 BB) and Reading (.274/.313/.363 in 100 G), in his familiar utility role. In the winter, he batted .302/.362/.429 as a backup for the Navegantes del Magallanes. With the Phillies chain in 2007, he did very well for Reading (.330/.404/.478 in 81 G, an Eastern League mid-season All-Star Game pick) and the Ottawa Lynx (5 for 13, 3B, HR, BB in his AAA debut). He was then dealt to the Seattle Mariners for Julio Mateo. In 24 games with the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, he fares less well (.247/.302/.371). In the winter, he hit .286/.289/.405 for Magallanes.
Merchan next signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent all of 2008 with the AAA Tucson Sidewinders and was their main shortstop (fielding .981 there). He batted .339/.373/.443 with 72 RBI. He was 4th in the 2008 PCL in average, behind Terry Tiffee, Jamie D'Antona and Nelson Cruz. Only D'Antona had a better average in the Arizona farm chain. Arizona did not call him up, as they had Stephen Drew playing daily. Brandon Wood was named the PCL All-Star SS.
In 2008-2009, the Maracay native was very productive for the Navegantes, hitting .291/.423/.557 in 100 plate appearances. Only Pablo Sandoval had a better OPS among the team's regulars. For the summer of 2009, he signed with the Cleveland Indians. He again topped .300, but this time battled injury, appearing for the AZL Indians (6 for 19, 2B, BB), Akron Aeros (.366/.438/.390 in 10 G) and Columbus Clippers (.280/.321/.350 in 27 G). He hit .330/.408/.407 for the 2009-2010 Navegantes, with only Robinson Chirinos having a better average among the regulars; even in his second straight strong season for the club, Merchan was not an everyday player for them.
Jesus's next stop was with the Toronto Blue Jays organization. In 2010, he appeared for the Dunedin Blue Jays (5 for 19, 2B) and Las Vegas 51s (.315/.368/.443 in 39 G). He was 12 for 39 with two doubles and two walks for the 2010-2011 Navegantes. He signed with the Florida Marlins for 2011, hitting .268/.313/.328 in 58 games for the New Orleans Zephyrs, backing up at 2B and SS. He was then dealt to the Colorado Rockies for Alfredo Amezaga. With the Colorado Springs Sky Sox the remainder of the way, he batted .366/.419/.419 in 26 contests. He was only 8 for 35 with a double that winter for Magallanes.
After having found homes with eight different MLB organizations over a seven-year period, Merchan had to start 2012 in the independent leagues. He hit .391/.440/.478 in 31 games for the Lancaster Barnstormers. The San Diego Padres signed him. He again had a strong AAA campaign, hitting .366/.392/.503 in 45 games for the Tucson Padres, but again did not get a look from the majors.