It was not all that long ago that Jordy Mercer was the young guy in Bradenton anxious to become a big leaguer.

But now – going into this seventh (and almost certainly his final) season in Pittsburgh – Mercer is the wise old shortstop doling out advice to the prospects. And he is happy to do it because it was done for him.

Clint Barmes was the incumbent as Mercer advanced through the minors and even when it became obvious that Mercer was going to take his job within a year or two, Barmes was always there. And now that Kevin Newman is the heir apparent with former first-round pick Cole Tucker behind him and Kevin Kramer who is next in line at second base Mercer is paying forward the favor that Barmes did for him.