Right-handed flamethrower Jean Carlos Mejia is our No. 15 Cleveland Indians prospect after he finished 2018 strong and was added to the Tribe’s 40-man roster to avoid the Rule 5 draft.
The 22-year-old signed with the Tribe out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. After toiling for three seasons in the DSL, something clicked with Mejia in 2017. In 21 games out of the bullpen in the Arizona Rookie League as well as Low-A for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, where he combined to strike out 50 batters in 37 innings while sporting an impressive 1.22 ERA.
Mejia missed much of the beginning of the 2018 season with an injury but he had his breakout moment at the end of June when he tossed consecutive scoreless 7.0 inning outings while striking out 10 batters in each start for the Single-A Lake County Captains.
Mejia finished the 2018 season with the highest swinging strike percentage of any full-season pitcher in the Indians organization and was rewarded for his efforts by being promoted to High-A Lynchburg late in the season and also being added to the Indians’ 40-man roster.
Mejia’s biggest drawback is his lack of starting pitching experience, but he didn’t miss a beat in his first taste of full-season ball as a starting pitching this past season.
Look for him to begin the season in High-A with an opportunity for quick advancement if he continues to whiff opposing hitters at a high rate.
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 15 PROSPECT FOR 2019?
Oscar Mercado, OF (Age 24)
2018 Cardinals (AAA): 427 PA, .285/.351/.408, 8 HR, 31 SB, 8.4 BB%, 15.0 K%, 101 wRC+
2018 Indians (AAA): 119 PA, .252/.342/.320, 0 HR, 6 SB, 10.9 BB%, 19.3 K%, 93 wRC+
2013 second round pick acquired in a trade from the Cardinals for Conner Capel last summer. Brings elite speed and strong defense in the outfield, but hit tool is still catching up.
Raynel Delgado, 3B (Age 18)
2018 (R): 204 PA, .306/.409/.382, 1 HR, 10 SB, 14.7 BB%, 21.6 K%, 133 wRC+
2018 sixth round pick the Indians paid $664,400 over slot to sign. Delgado held his own in his professional debut, putting up strong numbers and showing great patience at the plate in the AZL.
Richard Palacios, SS (Age 21)
2018 (R): 22 PA, .438/.591/.875, 2 HR, 2 SB, 27.3 BB%, 9.1 K%, 281 wRC+
2018 (A-): 86 PA, .411/.477/.589, 2 HR, 2 SB, 12.8 BB%, 14.0 K%, 208 wRC+
2018 (A): 82 PA, .300/.317/.425, 2 HR, 3 SB, 2.4 BB%, 15.9 K%, 109 wRC+
Indians 2018 third round draft pick out of Towson University tore through the short season leagues and was not challenged until arriving in full-season Lake County, where he still had a wRC+ above 100.
Eric Haase, C (Age 26)
2018 (AAA): 477 PA, .236/.288/.443, 20 HR, 3 SB, 6.5 BB%, 30.0 K%, 102 wRC+
Had some difficulty adjusting to his first full season at Triple-A but still managed to hit 20 home runs for the third year in a row. Was named the top defensive player in the Indians system by MLB Pipeline after throwing out 48.5 percent of basestealers.
Aaron Civale, RHP (Age 23)
2018 (AA): 21 GS, 106.1 IP, 17.5 K%, 4.7 BB%, 3.89 ERA, 3.98 FIP
Slowed by injury in his 2018 Double-A debut that saw his strikeout rate drop, Civale still showed the impeccable control that has allowed him to quickly advance through the Tribe system since being drafted in the third round in 2016.
Eli Morgan, RHP (Age 22)
2018 (A): 8 GS, 44.1 IP, 32.9 K%, 4.7 BB%, 1.83 ERA, 2.22 FIP
2018 (A+): 19 GS, 99.0 IP, 24.0 K%, 6.2 BB%, 3.91 ERA, 3.75 FIP
Gonzaga alum drafted in eighth round of 2017 doesn’t have elite velocity or size, but makes up for it with stellar command and the best change-up in the Tribe system, which helps spike his strikeout rate.
Gabrial Rodriguez (Age 16)
2018: did not play
Top Indians international signing of 2018 out of Venezuela, signed for $2.2 million. Standing 6-foot-2, he was the sixth highest-rated international prospect by MLB Pipeline. Should skip DSL and debut in AZL in 2019.
Who should be the No. 16 Indians prospect?
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