Miami Marlins Season in Review: Michael Mertz

WICHITA, KS - AUGUST 06: Pitcher Tim Hudson #15 of the Kansas Stars delivers a pitch against the Colorado Xpress in the second inning during the NBC World Series on August 6, 2016 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kansas. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - AUGUST 06: Pitcher Tim Hudson #15 of the Kansas Stars delivers a pitch against the Colorado Xpress in the second inning during the NBC World Series on August 6, 2016 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kansas. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part four…of 284. Stay tuned.

Michael M. Mertz is a 6’2″, 215 lb. right-handed pitcher from Pflugerville, TX. Born on September 24th, 1993, the Miami Marlins chose him in the 14th round of the 2016 draft with the 413th overall choice. If Mertz makes the major leagues at some point in the future, he’ll be the eighth player chosen 413rd overall to make it that far. By far, the best of those picks was fellow right-handed pitcher Oil Can Boyd (1980, Boston Red Sox, 17.4 WAR). You can follow Mertz on Twitter at @michaelmertz_.

Mertz is expected to rise through the Miami Marlins system and provide a power arm out of the bullpen. He’s got plenty of pitches, paced by his above average changeup, but has at some points displayed less-than-adequate control.

History

In two seasons of collegiate ball at Cisco Junior College, Mertz was 6-5 over 14 appearances, with a 3.55 ERA and 69 whiffs in 77 2/3 innings. Following that, he spent two seasons with the Oklahoma City Sooners, and was 1-3 with a 4.23 ERA and 62 K’s in 55 2/3 innings.

More from Marlins Prospects

Mertz signed with the Marlins on June 28th, 2016, for a $100,000 bonus, and made his professional debut with the GCL Marlins on July 7th. In three games, he allowed one hit, zero walks, and struck out four in four innings. A July 21st promotion to the Batavia Muckdogs followed. In 10 games, including five starts, he struck out 11 and walked 18 in 24 innings. He was 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP. Clearly, there was still work to do.

In 2017 Mertz started and ended the season with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the single-A South Atlantic League. In a team-high 40 games, he came out of the bullpen 39 times, going 9-1 with four saves, a 1.80 ERA, 78 K’s in 75 innings and a sparkling 1.013 WHIP. On July 27th, in a 6-3 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds, Mertz struck out six in 3 2/3 scoreless innings to earn a victory. Opponents slashed just .184/.282/.268 in 302 plate appearances versus Mertz.

Assigned to the Jupiter Hammerheads in the high-A Florida State League to begin the 2018 campaign, Mertz appeared in nine games over the first month of the season. He was 2-0 with a 6.75 ERA, along with 10 walks and five strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. That provided the Miami Marlins the impetus to send him back to Greensboro. In 33 appearances with the Grasshoppers, he was 2-6 with a 5.36 ERA, 60 whiffs in 57 2/3 innings, and a 1.56 WHIP. His best performance of the year was probably on August 23rd, in a 5-2 loss to the Shorebirds. He struck out five in two innings of one-hit shutout ball.

What to Expect

Mertz’ future is up in the air. If the Marlins choose to retain him, he would probably be joining the Hammerheads once more to open the 2019 season. The earliest we would possibly see Mertz in Miami with the Marlins is 2021, provided he progresses through the system normally.

Next. Joseph Gilma is Ready For the Next Level. dark

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