27 Outs Baseball Network

Indians No. 2 Prospect Mejia Swinging Hot Bat at Akron

Akron RubberDucks catcher Francisco Mejia has been heating up lately. The No. 2 prospect in the Cleveland Indians farm system has 14 hits and five home runs in his last five games, including a 4-for-5 effort which left him a triple away from a cycle in the final game of their weekend road series with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. This feat won him the Eastern League Player of the Week Award for the period of June 5th through June 11th.

“He’s really getting himself in a good position to hit right now and put a good swing on the ball and not missing his pitches,” RubberDucks manager Mark Budzinski told MiLB.com. “A lot of it comes from his pregame work, he’s very consistent in his cage routine and it’s translating out on the field.”

Mejia signed with the Indians out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. As one of the Single-A Midwest League’s younger players, he struggled in his first full season. He broke out in 2016 with a career high 11 home runs and even a 50-game hitting streak stretching through four months and two levels, which was the longest in the Minor Leagues since 1963.

Mejia was featured in the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego as the catcher for the World team. He finished last season sixth in the minors with a .342 average. This year the 21-year-old catcher is batting .369/.412/.631 in 38 games this season.

“He’s been hitting all year,” Budzinski said. “He’s very consistent with his work, he plays well and he goes up there with a plan to hit the ball hard, depending on what the pitcher features. He’s stuck with that and he’s executed very well.”

Mejia is a switch hitter with natural hitting ability from both sides of the plate. Even with an aggressive approach, he generates hard contact on a consistent basis due to his advanced bat-to-ball skills and barrel control to spread his hits to all over the field. His impressive physical strength and bat speed is what generates his raw power that wont be so sneaky for long. He demonstrates it more from the right side of the batter’s box, which may influence where he hits with more regularity later on in his career.

Mejia is also a strong defensive catcher with above-average arm strength, which is his best tool. With it, he has thrown out a career-best 44 percent of would-be base stealers in 2016 in the Midwest League and Carolina League.  While he is a stronger prospect next to home plate than behind it, scouts see Mejia possibly competing for a spot on the Indians backstop in the near future.

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