Padres + catcher = “Joanna Newsom is the 21st century timeless voice.” Wow, the math is way off there. Was supposed to be “you win some, but not this one, however I will voice concern and enthusiasm.” Not sure what happened, did I forget to carry a one or a “some?” Hmm, will have to throw that through a Rudy-designed tool and see what happens. As is my wont in the opening paragraphs, before I get to the nuts and bolts of Francisco Mejia, it’s good to point out that we’re talking about a catcher, so conservative is the operative word. Also, it’s best to be conservative in a sentence with nuts and bolts. Gary Sanchez took a bolt to his nuts and has never looked the same. “Don’t rattle the undercarriage, cold, cold world,” as George Orwell says in his followup 1985, which was about the incredible box office year Steve Guttenberg had. Any hoo! Mejia does have me a little jazzed like elevator music, because the Padres have already called him up and he seems a lock to at least be in a 70/30 (Hedges/Mejia) timeshare for their catcher spot, if not more. What’s Austin Hedges’ contract like? *Googles it* Okay, so maybe Hedges is traded? How about 60/40 for Hedges/Mejia? 70/32 when including warmup pitches? 50/38 and 12% of the time the pitcher just throws to the backstop? Mejia is ready and has to play, I say with 50/50 confidence. Anyway, what can we expect from Francisco Mejia for 2019 fantasy baseball?
Last year, Francisco Mejia hit 17 HRs between two levels of pro ball, and two teams. He hit 7 HRs in half a season with the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate, the Nine Little Indians, and seven more homers for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, Tony Shalhoub’s Monks (they’re called Tiny Shalhoubs, colloquially) in only 31 games while hitting .328. Then, he hit three homers in only 56 major league at-bats. We wouldn’t be talking about a catcher if I didn’t think he had real promise. He didn’t show otherworldly power in the minors, but he’s 22 years old and it’s comin’ like Omar. That will go along with a catcher who won’t kill you in average, which you can only say about a handful of catchers, and that’s after a home improvement accident with a saw. His strikeouts skyrocketed in his cup of coffee this year (30.6%), but, bleh, that’s a small sample size — as she says derisively. He won’t strike out over a 18% rate once he gets comfortable, and the line drives will come and the power. Think there’s a chance he’s a top 5 catcher in fantasy for many years, and that could start this year, or in two years. Hard to say, he is still young. I’m guessing Mejia gets a long look as the Padres’ backup backstop, and more if Hedges is injured or just flat-out looks terrible. For 2019, I’ll give Francisco Mejia the projections of 28/12/36/.268/1 in 305 ABs with a chance for more, and I will draft him in all leagues as an endgame flyer to see if he shocks the world into being the 70 side of the 70/30 playing time split, because, brucely, with catchers you have nothing to lose, except the seven minutes it took you to read this. Haha, suckers!