Baseball

Brewers, Francisco Mejia Agree To Minor League Deal

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The Brewers have agreed to a minor league contract with free agent catcher Francisco Mejia, reports Kiley McDaniel of ESPN. The 28-year-old switch-hitter spent time with the Angels and Rays during spring training but was released by Tampa Bay last week. He’ll head to Triple-A Nashville and add some depth while top catching prospect Jeferson Quero is injured.

Mejia was once not just one of the game’s top catching prospects but one of the top-ranked prospects in the entire sport, regardless of position. He peaked at No. 20 on Baseball America’s top-100 list and No. 11 at MLB.com heading into the 2018 season. Despite those prominent rankings, however, Mejia has yet to hit much in the big leagues while racking up more than five years of big league service between Cleveland, San Diego and Tampa Bay. In just shy of 1100 trips to the plate, he’s a .239/.284/.394 hitter. He’s been far better in Triple-A, where he touts a very strong .306/.350/.519 batting line in 633 plate appearances.

Beyond his struggles at the plate, Mejia has also had a rough time behind the dish. He’s long posted sub-par framing number, and his throwing took a major hit in 2023, when he thwarted just four of the 42 runners who tried to steal against him. Statcast also ranks him as one of the least-effective catchers in the game when it comes to blocking balls in the dirt.

Clearly, things haven’t panned out as hoped for the once ballyhooed young catcher. But he’s still just 28 and has shown little problem handling Triple-A pitching. The Brewers don’t have an immediate need behind the dish, with William Contreras and Gary Sanchez on the big league roster and the recently outrighted Eric Haase likely ahead of Mejia on the depth chart down in Triple-A as well. Mejia offers a relative veteran to help share that workload with Haase, and in the event of multiple catcher injuries he’s a fine third or fourth option for the organization to hand.

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