“As a player, everything’s about fundamentals, practice and coach making the lineup and it’s very tunnel-visioned. Being on this side now I see just watching him observe players in a different way. And he’s taught me a ton.
“Just little things. I mean, I’ve grown mentally, I’ve grown physically. I’ve have grown just still asking him questions on a day-to-day basis. In any way you can think of it he’s pushed me my comfort zone in some way.”
For Mercado, shortstop is “what I live and die by,” and feeling comfortable outside the white lines — in the first base coaches’ box — took a little while.
“This is home (Rita Hillenbrand Stadium) — I played on the field for four years. Being on this side, I felt a little uncomfortable,” Mercado said. “I would say you got to figure it out.
“You got to get a couple games under your belt to see how you move in groove in this different role, right? …I began to really like it because from this different perspective, I was seeing things differently, being able to relay information differently. But definitely, it was uncomfortable at first, but now I love it. But three years later, you would assume you figured out your groove.”
As a player, Mercado was already mentoring and helping her teammates. One of those teammates, current UA shortstop Jessie Harper, spent many hours with Mercado talking and learning more about the game.
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