As we inch closer to the All-Star break, small sample sizes disappear and the truth about prospects in the full-season leagues becomes evident.
Baseball Prospectus is one of the better sites for evaluating minor league talent, and these guys absolutely love Cleveland Indians top prospect Francisco Mejia.
Mejia was listed as the overall No. 34 prospect in MLB in their preseason rankings, but with graduation and another half-season under his belt, they’ve pushed him up to elite status, moving up 31 spots overall with their midseason prospect update.
Here’s what they had to say about the switch-hitting catcher:
3. Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians
Why He’ll Succeed: Mejia barrels everything and has shown power from both sides of the plate. He’s a potential 7 hit, 5 pop catcher, and he’s improved enough defensively to make us confident he sticks as a backstop.
Why He Might Fail: We’re pretty confident Mejia is a catcher. If we were positive Mejia is a catcher, he’d have a good case for number one. His smaller frame might not hold up under the rigors of a 120-game major league catching assignment, making him more of a C/DH type. Bat could play there too though.
Also taking a huge leap is 19-year old right-handed pitching prospect Triston McKenzie, who has exceeded all expectations in his first year of full-season baseball at High-A Lynchburg. McKenzie was ranked 55th in the preseason and moves up 20 spots to No. 35 overall in the midseason update.
35. Triston McKenzie, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Why He’ll Succeed: He already dominates with a fastball in the low-90s and a potential plus curve. Just imagine the potential above-average major league starter he’ll be 30 pounds and three extra mph from now.
Why He Might Fail: His physical comp is closer to Christian Bale in The Machinist than it is a major league starter. Despite gaudy age-relative-to-league performance you are still betting on projection that may or may not come.
Baseball Prospectus wasn’t the only site to provide a midseason update. Baseball America also updated their list of top 101 prospects and three Indians made it into their top 30.
18. Francisco Mejia (up 3 from 21)
24. Triston McKenzie (up 32 from 56)
28. Bradley Zimmer (up 26 from 54)
93. Bobby Bradley (up at least 8 from not ranked)