After last year’s drought another European prospect has found a home with a MLB organization. After the Baltimore Orioles’ signing of Jan Novak in December, the Atlanta Braves inked 18-year-old Italian infielder Mattia Mercuri to a minor league contract. Born and raised in Nettuno, Italy he is a product of the Italian Baseball Academy in Tirrenia. At the age of 18 he debuted in the Italian Baseball League, appearing in 11 games at second base and shortstop for Danesi Nettuno.
Mercuri got discovered by a Braves scout at the 2012 IBAF 18U Baseball World Championship in Seoul, Korea. Afterwards he received an invite by Nestor Perez to attend a tryout in Tenerife in December. Both eventually led to the signing. His professional baseball career will begin with Spring Training in March. He then will either be assigned to a rookie league team in Florida or the Dominican Summer League.