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Cleveland Indians prospect Francisco Mejia's hitting streak sets modern era record

Thanks for letting us keep him, Jonathan.

MiLB.TV screen grab

Francisco Mejia, a catcher in the Cleveland Indians' farm system, set a new record for the modern era of Minor League Baseball by extending his hitting streak to 46 games last night, in the Lynchburg Hillcats 7-3 victory over the Salem Red Sox. Mejia had gone 0 for 4 to start his night, but got one more opportunity in the ninth inning, and he lined a doubled down the right-field line to top the previous modern record held by Jamie McOwen, who hit safely in 45 consecutive games in 2009.

The modern era dates to 1963, after a number of restructuring moves dramatically altered the landscape of the minor leagues. In the years after World War II, there were as many as 59 different leagues, but by 1963 that had been trimmed to just 15, and almost all of the teams in those leagues had signed affiliate contracts with an MLB team.

Longest MiLB hitting streaks of modern era:

  • 1) Francisco Mejia (2016): 46 games
  • 2) Jamie McOwen (2009): 45 games
  • 3) Brandon Watson (2007): 43 games
  • 4) Mitch Hilligoss (2007): 38 games
  • t5) Bobby Trevino (1969): 37 games
  • t5) Joey Cora (1989): 37 games
  • t5) Harold Garcia (2010): 37 games

Prior to the modern era, there were a half dozen hitting streaks we know of that were longer than Mejia's modern record (courtesy of Baseball-Reference):

  • 1) Joe Wilhoit (1919): 69 games
  • 2) Joe DiMaggio (1933): 61 games
  • 3) Roman Mejias (1954): 55 games
  • 4) Otto Pahlman (1922): 50 games
  • t5) Jack Ness (1915): 49 games
  • t5) Harry Chozen (1945): 49 games

That's right, Joe DiMaggio's MLB-record 56-game hitting streak wasn't even the longest streak of DiMaggio's professional career.

Francisco Mejia was the centerpiece of the deal that was to bring then-Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the Indians. Lucroy vetoed that trade though, which meant Mejia remained in the Tribe farm system. Just 20 years old, the switch-hitter began his season with Single-A Lake County, but midway through this hitting streak he was promoted to High-A Lynchburg. Between the two levels combined, Mejia is batting .344/.375/.517 this season. He will likely be placed on a number of top 100 prospect lists this offseason.