(Updated August 15th, 2016)
Francisco Mejia (a prospective switch-hitting catcher in the Cleveland Indians organization) put together an impressive 50-game hitting streak between Class-A and Advanced-A play this season.
The streak began back on May 27th and came to an end on August 14th. The streak was originally over on August 13th when Mejia went 0-4, however, the streak was revived by the official scorer who changed an error to a hit after video review. In his final at bat on the 14th, Mejia (0-3) was robbed of a hit by Winston-Salem’s center fielder Michael Suiter who made a diving catch in the games seventh inning.
Mejia’s name might sound familiar as the 21-year-old backstop was supposed to be dealt by the Indians to the Milwaukee Brewers for catcher Jonathon Lucroy. J-Luc vetoed the trade to the Tribe, however, and is now catching for the Texas Rangers instead.
Mejia also participated in this year’s Futures Game during the All-Star break in San Diego at Petco Park. He managed to collect a hit in three at bats and accounted for one of the World Futures 11 runs in a victory over the U.S. Futures (the final score was 11-3).
Mejia posted 40 hits in his final 24 games with the Lake County Captains (Class-A, Midwest League) before being promoted to the Lynchburg Hillcats (Advanced-A) on June 27th. Sundays game marks the first time Mejia has went hitless in Carolina League action and he has totaled 38 more hits thus far .
During the streak Mejia slashed .386/.414/.599 with eight home runs, 15 doubles, and only 29 strikeouts in 215 plate appearances (per Mike Axisa CBS Sports and Jay Jaffe Sports Illustrated). On the year Mejia has a slash-line of .345/.378/.519 with nine HR and 72 RBI.
Mejia passed Harry Chozen (49 games in 1945) and Jack Ness (49 games in 1915) after the official scorer’s final decision and joined Otto Pahlman (who had a 50-game streak in 1922) at 4th place on the all-time Minor League hit streak list.
In case you were wondering, the longest hit streak in Minor League History belongs to Joe Wilhoit who had a whopping 69-game streak in 1919 (Joe DiMaggio has the second longest at 61 games in 1933, followed by Roman Mejias in third place with 55 games in 1954).
Regardless the level of baseball being played, a 50-game hitting streak is nothing short of an incredible feat. Especially when you consider that Mejia is one of only five players in baseball history (Minor or Major League) to have a hit streak of 50 or more games.
If Mejia can add some more power to his swing and prove he can perform at a high level behind the plate, he may challenge Indians catcher Yan Gomes for playing time in the not so distant future.
Who knows, years from now Cleveland and its fans may look back at the Lucroy deal that wasn’t, and be thankful they didn’t trade this top prospect away.