If the name Francisco Mejia sounds familiar, that’s probably because he was involved in the biggest trade that didn’t happen at this year’s trade deadline.
The Cleveland Indians catching prospect was supposed to be a key piece of the Milwaukee Brewers four-player return package in their agreed upon deal for Jonathan Lucroy. Ultimately, Lucroy vetoed that trade and was instead shipped to the Texas Rangers on Monday, leaving Milwaukee with a less impressive return and the Indians with a still questionable catching situation. At least for this season.
Moving forward, it seems possible, if not likely, that Mejia will be Cleveland’s catcher of the future. In fact, now that he knows he won’t be changing addresses this summer, he’s back focused on developing into that player, while also making some pretty remarkable history.
During Wednesday’s game for the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Advanced-A Carolina League, Mejia extended his current hitting to 45 games by delivering a run-scoring single in the fourth inning. According to Baseball America, that ties what’s considered to be the modern record for a minor league hitting streak, which was set by James McOwens in 2009.
It also moved him into the top ten among all hitting streaks in organized baseball history, though it’s noted minor-league record keeping may not be entirely accurate. That means some longer streaks may have gone overlooked.
Worth noting, the longest hitting streak on record belongs to Wichita’s Joe Wilhoit, who hit in 69 straight games in the Western League in 1919. The second and third longest streaks both belong to Joe DiMaggio, who had a 61-game streak in the Pacific Coast League in 1933 and the MLB record 56-game hitting streak in 1941.
Two things we know for sure about Mejia’s streak is it’s accurate and it’s mighty impressive given the chaos that has surrounded him this season.
First, he was promoted from the Lake County Captains of the Low-A Midwest League to Lynchburg Hillcats 28 games into his streak, but managed to adjust on the fly. As mentioned, he was also literally a single moment away from packing him bags and heading to Brewers organization. That hasn’t impacted his focus either, as he’s now hit in three straight games since.
Honestly, it could turn into one those great trades that Cleveland is thankful didn’t pan out two or three years from now. Mejia ranked 70th on Baseball America’s midseason prospects list and currently sits No. 100 on MLB.com’s prospect rankings. There’s a wide gap, mainly because he possesses an all-around skill set that’s exciting but still developing.
To bottom line it, there’s a lot to like about Francisco Mejia. It all goes according to plan, he’ll be remembered for a lot more than being a prospect in a vetoed trade or even a minor leaguer with an epic hitting streak.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –