Mercado finished the season with 17 runs, 31 hits 17 RBIs and one home run, the only one for the baseball team’s 2015 season.
How does it feel to be named MVP of your team?
“I didn’t even know I was selected as MVP. It’s a big honor, we had such a great team this year and we had awesome guys contribute in so many different ways, so it feels good to be recognized like this.”
What do you think about your performance this season?
“I started out the year really well hitting and I was just gaining a bunch of confidence early. Coach Picketts put me in some different positions on the field throughout the year and I actually ended up playing first base. I haven’t really played that position too much during my career, so it was a good experience being able to learn a new spot on the diamond. It was a lot different and very challenging, but I enjoyed it.”
What was your favorite memory of the season?
“My favorite memory was the last game of the season when we won on a walk-off. We knew that we weren’t going to the playoffs but we ended on such a high note. Joe Moran came up with the walk-off hit and I was extremely happy for him. Couldn’t ask for a better guy to come up with the winning base-knock.”
Do you model your play after a professional athlete?
“That’s a really tough one. I have a lot of athletes that I like but I would probably have to say my favorite is Dustin Pedroia. I watch videos about him that show the way he goes about his business. He’s usually never the biggest or strongest guy on the team, but he gets after it just like everyone else. Pedroia drive to be the best player he can be is really inspirational. I’m not always the biggest person on the team either. In fact I was one of the smallest guys this year and I was able to bat third and fourth in our lineup.”
What’s your favorite athletic team?
“Even though they don’t have Dustin Pedroia, I’m still a Dodgers fan. Gotta stay with my L.A. roots.”
What are you going to do next season?
“Well this was my last semester at Pierce College. As for next season, it’s just finding a place to go. I do have a couple offers on the table, but it just comes down to finding the right place for me. If I could, I would love to stay in California, but if I do find something that will further my baseball career somewhere else I would take that offer.”
What is your pre-game ritual?
“I just try to have fun. I’m never really too serious. I joke around in pre-game and try to stay loose. Me and a couple other guys would sometimes try to play home run derby during batting practice just to keep the tension out of the atmosphere. There was never a dull moment with those guys.”
What was the biggest thing you learned with your stay at Pierce?
“Always keep working hard. Our coaches taught us how important it is to be there for our teammates. They always pushed us to keep working and to never become complacent.”