MLB Pipeline is continuing to release their lists of the top 10 prospects at each position. Triston McKenzie is already a top pitching prospect. Cleveland Indians backstop Francisco Mejia has been rated the best catching prospect of them all.
This should come as no surprise to Indians fans. Francisco Mejia has the bat and the throwing arm to reach the major leagues quickly. And considering that the current catchers, Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez, lack offensive production, Mejia is a very important prospect for the Tribe.
He was the top prospect in the organization last year and likely will be again in 2018. Mejia was able to reach the major leagues for a short time in 2017. While he didn’t achieve much success, the future is still bright for the 22 year old.
As a switch hitting catcher, Mejia’s value is extremely high. He’s progressed on both sides of the plate and has decent power, knocking 14 homers in 92 games in the minors last season.
The problem has been his defense behind the plate. He has a strong arm but his glove is below average. During the 2017 Arizona Fall League, Mejia worked strictly at third base, where his strong arm profiles well. While the Cleveland Indians haven’t given up on his future as a catcher, any defensive versatility will be able to help him get into the lineup.
With Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez under contract for the next several years, it could be hard for Mejia to push himself into that spot, especially given his below average defense. But if he can play third base, it’s a great way to get his bat into the lineup at a position with some question marks.
Mejia is just about ready for the big leagues. A good Spring Training could put him on the 25 man roster on Opening Day. And if he can make that roster, Mejia has the potential to become an All-Star in his rookie season.
His bat is for real, his power is real, and his throwing arm is for real. If he can improve with the glove, either behind the plate or at the hot corner, he will be a major addition to this team. After the Cleveland Indians watched Jay Bruce and Carlos Santana leave in free agency, adding a bat like Mejia’s could make up for those losses.
The MLB Pipeline prospect reveals will continue through February. Triston McKenzie is already listed as one of the top right handed pitching prospects, and Mejia now joins him. Those two are certainly the top prospects in the organization and will be big parts of the future for the Cleveland Indians.