Francisco Mejia remains the Cleveland Indians’ top prospect but his path to the majors may be halted by a refusal to play in the outfield.
The Cleveland Indians have won five straight and own a giant lead in the American League Central division. So naturally, the stress levels are low.
However, one thing the team is dealing with is a lack of outfield depth due to injuries to both Bradley Zimmer and Lonnie Chisenhall. One plan seemed to involve shifting Francisco Mejia to the outfield so he had an easy path to the majors.
This makes sense as Yan Gomes is having himself a solid year and one where he has earned the right to be the starting catcher. Taking him out of the lineup now wouldn’t make sense, thus Mejia could get some playing time as a right fielder.
Or so it seemed.
This is an interesting quote for several reasons. The first reason is because of what is being said about Mejia by Terry Francona. If this is true, the kid needs to realize that he can’t be so stubborn. Who would turn down a chance to play in the majors?
Mejia is not going to usurp Gomes this season and that is a fact. And if he struggled in the outfield it wouldn’t diminish his value because no one is expecting him to be elite out there. He could always go back to playing catcher, as Francona notes.
This is also interesting because it hints at character concerns and could hurt Mejia’s trade value, if he is indeed being shopped around right now. If a team likes him but doesn’t have an opening at catcher, trading for Mejia could provide some unnecessary distractions.
This whole situation is weird. If Mejia is that against playing right field, someone needs to sit him down and explain that he is making a huge mistake. Right now he is simply a prospect, but if he plays right field and dominates on offense in Cleveland he makes himself a legitimate player. The team would make sure he was in the lineup. Now, it may not be worth the hassle.
Talent usually outweighs everything else so Mejia’s trade value isn’t too tarnished by these comments. However, the Indians have a frustrating situation on their hands if they keep the young man in the organization.
If he doesn’t want to play right field I’ll submit my name for consideration. And I’m sure every outfielder in the farm system would gladly take his spot.