Tampa, Florida -- Oscar Mercado said it would take a large number to forego the opportunity to play at Florida State. The Cardinals gave their second round selection, 57th overall in last week's Major League Baseball draft, an offer he couldn't refuse.
The shortstop agreed to a deal worth $1.5 million -- considerably more than the Major League's recommended $971,000 slot value for the former Gaither star.
Mercado told 10 News he'll fly to St. Louis on Monday to finalize and sign the contract. Arguably the best player in Hillsborough County available in the draft according to scouts, Mercado fell out of the first round because of his down year at the plate. In his senior season he hit. 286 with 14 RBI's.
Gaither's Head Coach Frank Permuy told 10 News last week that he felt his shortstop was trying to carry the team and was feeling the effects of scouting pressure last season.
Permuy went on to say, "He'll be fine, he's an exceptional ball player and person and will be successful wherever he ends up."
Mercado told 10 News he intends to play rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League for the Cardinals organization this summer.