Cleveland Indians: Francisco Mejia is heating up in Columbus

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 11: Francisco Mejia
GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 11: Francisco Mejia /

The Cleveland Indians have a few minor league prospects who look to be future big league players. Francisco Mejia has been one of the rising stars in the system the last few years and he is heating up after a slow start.

The Cleveland Indians received a blessing in disguise in 2016 when Jonathan Lucroy vetoed a trade to Cleveland. The Indians were poised to send Francisco Mejia, Yu-Cheng Chang, Greg Allen and Shawn Armstrong to the Brewersaccording to this story on MLB Trade Rumors.

Lucroy’s veto didn’t sit well with the fanbase, but I believe it was the best thing to happen to the Indians. The veto saved the Indians from themselves.

Mejia rode an amazing 50-game hit streak in 2016 in Single-A ball and increased his value. His bat made him a coveted asset that teams wanted badly.

It is easy to see why he was a center-piece for the deal but it is great that it never happened. Mejia started slow in 2018 for Columbus but has since heated up in a big way.

At one point in 2018, he was batting below .200 and could not buy a hit. However, since the end of May, Mejia has been on a tear.

From the start until May 24, Mejia was hitting just .178 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. Since that point though, he is ripping the cover off the baseball.

Mejia has hit .443/.478/.689 with four home runs and 23 RBIs since May 26 through Saturday. He has also hit 12 doubles and a triple in that stretch. His wOBA is .510 and wRC+ sits at 231. He is well above the excellent marks for wRC+ (160) and wOBA (.400). You can learn more about these using Fangraph’s glossary on sabermetrics here.

Mejia’s offensive prowess has been the biggest part of his lure as a prospect. His defense is not bad but he remains in the minors to develop it more.

His versatility is being tested as an outfielder in Columbus but the club remains adamant he is a catcher first. The idea here is that he has other uses and can help the Indians if needed.

With the struggles of Roberto Perez, fans are beginning to call for Mejia. His offensive explosion has done nothing to calm those feelings.

It could be time to give him a shot but the Indians will likely hold steady with Yan Gomes and Perez as their duo.

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Mejia needs to just continue to do what he has done and wait for an opportunity. That opportunity could be soon or in September as a late call-up.