Mejia, who’s known most for his bat, was announced as a catcher/outfielder. It’s still unknown just how the team will deploy him in the mid and long-term, but he’ll fill in for backup catcher Roberto Perez for the meantime. Though the team says Perez is not going on the DL — at least, not yet — he is expected to miss some time after being struck by a pitch in the hand yesterday.
Mejia, who made a brief MLB cameo last year, entered the season as a consensus top-twenty prospect leaguewide, with many assuming he would hit his way into the MLB mix sooner than later. Defensively, though, there are far greater questions. Thus far in 2018, he has split his time about evenly behind the plate and in the grass.
While he has worked to find a defensive home, Mejia hasn’t produced to his typical levels at the plate. In 214 plate appearances at the highest level of the minors, he owns a .214/.271/.33 slash. That said, as the team notes in its release, the switch-hitting Mejia has been on a hot streak of late. And he came into the season with a track record and reputation as a polished hitter from both sides of the plate.
While the Cleveland organization gets a sense for what kind of contribution it can expect from Mejia now and in the future, the 22-year-old will accrue MLB service time. He already had 31 days from 2017, and can earn as many as 112 from this point through the end of the current season, so he could profile as a future Super Two qualifier if he stays up for good.
Mejia made the news earlier this season when he brought a lawsuit seeking to abrogate his contractual relationship with an entity called Big League Advance. The litigation will determine whether Mejia is forced to pay a portion of his ongoing MLB earnings.