Indians

What should you think about Francisco Mejia and Greg Allen?

Professional baseball has a crazy number of players to keep track of once you start diving into all the different rookie ball, single-A (high and low), double-A, triple-A, independent leagues, fall leagues, winter leagues, California penal leagues and the like. It can be impossible to track everyone and exhausting to even attempt it. So, sometimes, you need to lean on some experts who are pushing themselves to exhaustion for you.

The good news is that when it comes to the Indians farm system, WFNY has two such people who have been keeping tabs on some of the prospects that have been elevating through the levels. Jim Pete and Mike Hattery know their stuff and have provided some great insight into the recent MLB call ups of Francisco Mejia and Greg Allen.

Here’s what they think.

Greg Allen

WFNY’s Jim Pete is a huge fan of Greg Allen. Allen’s injury and average year in Double-A (read: quite good just not as electric as his 2016 short stint with the Akron Rubberducks) has not dampered his enthusiasm for Allen’s eventual place on the Indians roster.

Here is what he had to say before the season began:

When you look at the Indians finished draft board in 2014, it’s easy to forget about Allen. Bradley Zimmer was picked first, and ten picks later, Justus Sheffield was chosen with a supplemental pick. In the third round, Bobby Bradley was the selection, and all three have carried a lot of prospect weight since then. Allen, a sixth rounder that year for the Tribe, a switch-hitting center fielder, has risen from pre-destined “expert” mediocrity to enter the top ten in most prospect lists thus far.

He should be higher.

Allen walked out of San Diego State with a boatload of experience from a Major League Hall of Famer, a college degree in business management with a near 4.0 GPA, and a future proving that he has no ceiling as a professional baseball player.

And here is what he had to say upon the call up:

WFNY’s Mike Hattery is also a fan of Allen and discussed him with the Indians David Wallace before the season:

Allen flashed a power spike in a middling sample in Akron as well as in the Arizona Fall League following the season; enough to inquire if Allen had made an adjustment.

“Greg is an incredibly strong guy,” said Wallace. “His strength numbers in the weight room are at or near the top of the organization in every category, despite not being the biggest guy we have. When his timing is right and he efficiently uses his whole body, not just hands, Greg has the potential to drive the ball with great authority. There weren’t any major mechanical adjustments, just getting timing right and making a good move to the ball.”

Francisco Mejia

While Hattery is a fan of Allen, he seems heels over head for Mejia. Jose Ramirez contact skills and bat head control being compared to Jose Ramirez from Hattery should not be taken lightly.

The strongest indicators of Major League success statistically in the minor leagues: 1) age compared to level; 2) Strikeout % and 3) ISO. Mejia is two and a half years younger than the average age at Double A. His strikeout percentage is just 13%, the second best of his career and an indicator of plus contact skills. A fifty point ISO improvement over 2016 indicates power growth.

Speaking with those inside and outside of the organization in Akron, the Indians know that his bat is big league ready now. The risk remaining in Mejia’s profile is whether he can stick at catcher long term, which will influence his value.

Pete brings up a fantastic point about the mentorship possibilities Mejia will have at the MLB level with Sandy Alomar Jr., Yan Gomes, and Roberto Perez all there to provide guidance.

Last word

It is now up to the Indians to find plate appearances for both of these call ups. It won’t do anyone good to see their player development stall for a couple weeks because they cannot crack the lineup. Oh, and the Tribe is also still competing for homefield advantage in the MLB postseason and has a whole slew of players returning from injury such as Lonnie Chisenhall and Abraham Almonte who will need at bats in the outfield where Greg Allen currently resides. So, they have to balance development while not messing up their seeding in a year the team is competing for the World Series. No pressure.

  • JM85

    Good stuff. Looking forward to seeing them play.