Cleveland Indians fans should seriously stop booing Jonathan Lucroy.
It’s looking more and more like he saved the Tribe front office from making a huge mistake last year when he used his no trade clause, which kept top catching prospect Francisco Mejia in the Indians farm system.
Back in May of 2016, Indians fans were outraged that ESPN expert Keith Law didn’t have any Tribe prospects listed in his top 25 rankings. That has changed this season.
One 50-game hitting streak and two Futures Game appearances later, Mejia has exploded up Law’s list. The 21-year old, who wasn’t even on Law’s top-100 entering 2016, began the 2017 season ranked No. 18 overall, and he’s improved upon that after batting .339 in his first taste of Double-A, good enough to lead the entire Eastern League in hitting.
In his Midseason Top 50 prospects update (subscription required), Law has Mejia ranked No. 6 in all of MLB, and his review is glowing:
6. Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians
Mejia is hitting .341/.372/.525 across three levels since the start of 2016, and he's a catcher. If I felt better about his receiving and game-calling, I might have him at No. 1 overall.
This turnabout only backs up Baseball Prospectus’ recent ranking of Mejia as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball.
Mejia wasn’t the only Indians prospect who soared in the rankings. Top Indians pitching prospect Triston McKenzie jumped 45 spots to No. 40 overall after dominating High-A hitters in his first taste of full-season baseball this year and currently leading the Carolina League in strikeouts by 20.
Law still hopes McKenzie can fill out his 6’5” 165 pound frame before he becomes a true believer though.
40. Triston McKenzie, RHP, Cleveland Indians
It's all still projection for McKenzie, listed at 6-foot-6 and 165 pounds, and looking every bit of it, but he's already missing tons of bats (32 percent) as a 19-year-old pitching in high-A thanks to his extension out front and a low-90s fastball.
It’s time to get excited, Tribe fans!