Hillcats’ Mejia Named Midwest League Player of the Month
Bob Toth | On 07, Jul 2016
The first three months of the 2016 season for Francisco Mejia have been more than memorable, as the Lynchburg catcher added another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments on Wednesday when the Midwest League named him its Player of the Month for June.
Mejia, the 20-year-old switch-hitting backstop, joined the High-A Hillcats on June 27, but it did not stop his former league from recognizing his impressive 21 games with the Lake County Captains throughout the month.
Mejia hit a league-leading .429 with a .461 on-base percentage, a league-best .714 slugging percentage, and an incredible 1.175 OPS (.200 points above the next closest player in the Midwest League) in June while with the Single-A Captains. He hit six doubles and six homers during the month while driving in 20 runs and scoring 19. His power erupted after hitting just one homer through the first two months of the season, but it was his extended hitting streak through the entire month that caught the eyes of those around minor league baseball.
The streak, which started at home at Classic Park on May 27 against Fort Wayne, carried on to his promotion to Lynchburg. He has continued the streak with the Hillcats, where he has hit in eight straight games to push his feat to 32 consecutive games, tops across professional baseball this season. He is hitting .402 during the stretch with nine doubles, two triples, six homers, and 27 RBI combined.
Mejia also had a ten-game hitting streak in April.
The award caps off what was an incredible month of June for the Indians prospect.
He was recognized for his efforts at and behind the plate on June 13 when he was named the Midwest League Player of the Week for the week of June 6 through 12.
On June 21, he was the starting catcher for the Midwest League’s Eastern Division All-Star team and went 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored in the Eastern All-Stars’ 11-10 victory.
He was promoted from Lake County to Lynchburg on June 27, presumably spelling the end of his time at the Class-A level after spending all of 2015 with the Captains, when he hit .243 with 13 doubles, nine homers, and 53 RBI, and struggled defensively behind the plate.
One week after his second career All-Star appearance, he was selected to participate in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego on July 10. The exhibition between some of the top prospects throughout the minor leagues pits a U.S. team versus a World roster.
The Dominican-born Mejia is one of two catchers on the World squad.
Photo: Tim Phillis/TCP Photography