Gaither High School (Tampa, Fla.) shortstop Oscar Mercado spoke with Redbird Rants on Friday after being drafted in the second round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Daniel Solzman: Thank you for joining Redbird Rants today and congrats on being drafted by the Cardinals. How are things treating you up in Tampa?
Oscar Mercado: Things have been treating me pretty well. Pretty exciting.
Daniel Solzman: I hope you didn’t get too much rain this week.
Oscar Mercado: We actually did. It rained like all day yesterday.
Daniel Solzman: Can you talk about how it felt to get the call saying you would be selected by the Cardinals with the 57th pick?
Oscar Mercado: It felt great. It had been a long night. I was studying for tests a little bit but it was kind of relieving but at the same time it was really exciting. It’s actually a team that I was really, really wanted to play for. It was just a team that really excited me and I knew their farm system was incredible so I was so happy when I found out that I was going to be a Cardinal.
Daniel Solzman: It’s my understanding that you have committed to play baseball at Florida State. How tough of a decision will it be choosing between college or professional ball?
Oscar Mercado: It’s going to be a real tough choice but at the end I’m going to sit down with my family and just talk things out and know that we’re going to be making the right choice and take the right step forward and the best thing available for me.
Daniel Solzman: Regardless of which, how has Coach Frank Permuy prepared you for the next level?
Oscar Mercado: He’s just always given me the opportunity. He’s always let me stand there and battle through tough times. He’s helped me out mentally a lot. He’s just always been there for me.He’s always been a great mentor.
Daniel Solzman: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Oscar Mercado: Derek Jeter.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again for joining us and best of luck. Any final words for the best fans in baseball?
Oscar Mercado: It’s going to be a great, great upcoming year.