Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Player Profile: Juan Mercedes 

Only 23 years old, he is ready to show others that he can cook too.
April 24, 2023

Juan Mercedes is a pitcher with the Everett AquaSox who are a part of the Seattle Mariners farm system. Juan, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017, is quietly off to a great start for the Everett AquaSox for the current 2023 season. While he has yet

Juan Mercedes is a pitcher with the Everett AquaSox who are a part of the Seattle Mariners farm system. Juan, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017, is quietly off to a great start for the Everett AquaSox for the current 2023 season. While he has yet to earn a decision in 3 starts, he has struck out 24 batters in 15 innings with a 3.00 ERA. To start out the long season with those numbers, we can only expect things to get even better as the weather warms up.

We at the Seattle Sports Union had the pleasure to sit down with the young man after a recent game and discussed Juan’s young career and why he loves to cook.

SSU: How are you Juan Mercedes, Happy Belated 23rd Birthday (It was April 3rd, but wanted to wish him a happy belated birthday).
JM: Hi, thank you. I am doing good. Thank you for the chance to do an interview with you guys.

SSU: Where are you from?
JM: I am from the Dominican Republic. I grew up in the city of Villa Tapia.

SSU: Outstanding. When you were growing up, did you always play baseball, or was there another sport you were interested in?
JM: I love baseball and always played baseball. I started playing when I was 8 years old. I was always a pitcher too. My favorite MLB player I modeled my game after was Pedro Martinez. He was so good and inspiring.

SSU: I knew you would say that Pedro was your favorite. LOL. He is a good role model. Was there any other MLB player besides Pedro that you liked?
JM: Yeah, “Big Papi” David Ortiz. He was a great player on and off the field. I always wanted to be like him. I also play his character when I play MLB the game lol. He really is a good guy who I model myself off the field and on even though he’s not a pitcher.

SSU: Favorite baseball moment growing up (before you came to the Seattle Mariners Organization)?
JM: Yes, I do have one. After I moved away, I came back to the Dominican Republic one time for a baseball game against them. It was so fun, so many people I knew. We had a great time and such wonderful memories.

SSU: When did you come to America?
JM: I came in 2017 when the Seattle Mariners signed me as a 17-year-old. The Seattle Mariners were the ones who wanted me and pursued me. How could I not come here? I was so happy to become a part of their organization.

SSU: How many pitches do you throw right now?
JM: I throw four pitches. A fastball, changeup, slider, and sinker ball. The Sinker Ball is the pitch that I am currently working on now and it is working well for me.

SSU: What is your outpitch?
JM: The slider for sure.

SSU: Does that include when you play the Astros and the winner goes on in the playoffs and you are closing out the game.
JM: For sure the slider then.

SSU: What is the Mariners' current plan for you? Will it be as a starter? Will it be in the bullpen? Are you ok with either?
JM: I just want to make it to the big club so if it’s as a reliever, that is fine. Right now, they told me it’s as a starter. But it doesn’t matter to me one bit.

SSU: Favorite baseball game that you have pitched as a professional. You can’t say the no-no from your time with the AquaSox last season. LOL. OK, if you must, that is fine.
JM: It was the no-hitter. Everything seemed to be going well that night. I was having so much fun. It was a night I will never forget.

SSU: Harry Ford or Charlie Welch? (who’s easier to throw to?)
JM: I prefer both. They are both so great to me. They are completely different players, but both are outstanding behind the plate, and I am truly happy whoever is starting at Catcher when I am on the mound. They are great teammates and friends of mine.

SSU: What do you like to do in your free time? Is it always baseball or is there something else that is a passion of yours?
JM: What people don’t know about me is that I love to cook. My favorite thing to cook is fried chicken and beans. I find that when I cook as well, I eat much healthier foods, haha.

SSU: That is so cool, thank you for sharing. Curious, how big of a family do you come from?
JM: I have three brothers, one sister, and my parents. I have been trying to get my Mom and Dad here to come to see me play, but it hasn’t worked out just yet. My girlfriend is here now though, and she’s from the Dominican Republic. So that has made me happy.

SSU: Congratulations. We are so happy for you. It must have been hard to not have family or loved ones here for you, but way to stay strong
JM: Thanks guys.

Best of luck to you, Juan Mercedes. The city of Everett is currently blessed to see talent like you make a difference in our city on and off the field. We can’t wait to see you climb that ladder and be a part of the big-league club.

PHOTO CREDIT: Shari Sommerfeld

The Everett AquaSox are the High-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Everett is a member of the Northwest League and has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the AquaSox moniker in 1995. For updates on the 2023 season, community initiatives and Webbly appearances follow the Frogs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or visit our website, Season tickets, ticket plans, group outings and picnics outings can be purchased by calling (425) 258-3673 or visiting the AquaSox Front Office at 3802 Broadway.