PITTSBURGH — As I’ve been writing about what Pirates players hope to accomplish in the final weeks of the 2017 season, for the most part, I had a good idea going into the conversation what the answers were going to be.

When it came to Jordy Mercer, I had no clue.

Mercer, 31, is one of the more experienced players in the Pirates’ clubhouse. He’s having a fantastic year at the plate, having already eclipsed his single-season home run total with 14. His previous best was 12 in 2014. His .739 OPS is the highest it’s been since he was a rookie in 2013, and he’s done it all hitting in the No. 8 spot in the order.

His fielding has also improved this year. He has 1 Defensive Run Saved, up from negative-9 last year and his highest total since 2014. His 1.4 WAR is also the best since 2014 a...

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