Akron's Mejia stays hot with four more knocks

Cleveland's No. 2 prospect has 14 hits, five homers in five games

Francisco Mejia has 22 extra-base hits this season in the Eastern League. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com | June 11, 2017 6:58 PM ET

For RubberDucks manager Mark Budzinski, Francisco Mejia's success is about what he does before the first pitch is even thrown.

"He's really getting himself in a good position to hit right now and put a good swing on the ball and not missing his pitches," the skipper said. "A lot of it comes from his pregame work, he's very consistent in his cage routine and it's translating out on the field."

Cleveland's No. 2 prospect capped his scorching week by going 4-for-5 with a solo homer and a double in Double-A Akron's 7-3 win over New Hampshire on Sunday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. He matched a personal best with his fourth hit.


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After seeing fastballs and changeups, and taking one-handed swings before the game, Mejia immediately got off to a quick start. MLB.com's No. 35 overall prospect laced a single to right field to move leadoff hitter Jordan Smith, who had singled, to third. Smith crossed the plate on a groundout by Indians No. 4 prospect Bobby Bradley.

"For anybody really to get us going and get a run there early, it's good," Budzinski said. [Mejia's] been doing it all year."

Video: RubberDucks' Mejia goes deep

Mejia lined out to right in the third, but added a single to short in the fifth for his 17th multi-hit game with the RubberDucks. In the seventh, the 21-year-old slugged a 1-0 offering from reliever Alonzo Gonzalez to left for his eighth homer of the season.

"He got up in the count and the left-handed reliever's had a good fastball and wasn't afraid to use it," the manager said. "I'm sure [Mejia] was looking for a fastball middle-in and put a good swing on it from the right side to drive it out of the park."

At that point, Budzinski started running through Mejia's line in his head -- double, single, homer. The manager realized his star player was a triple shy of the cycle, but didn't belabor the point. A hit away from history, Mejia instead battled to knock an 0-2 pitch from Andrew Case to right to lead off the ninth. It marked the Dominican Republic native's third four-hit game of the year and sixth of his career.

Video: Mejia collects fourth hit for Akron

"He doesn't give bats away," Budzinski said. "He grinds it out every time he's up there and does his best to put a good at-bat together, so we're happy with where he is right now."

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After two multi-homer games earlier in the week, Mejia has 14 hits, five homers and 10 RBIs over his last five games. But it's nothing new for the switch-hitter, who is batting .369/.412/.631 in 38 games this season.

"He's been hitting all year," the manager said. "He's very consistent with his work, he plays well and he goes up there with a plan to hit the ball hard, depending on what the pitcher features. He's stuck with that and he's executed very well."

Left-hander Thomas Pannone (2-1) worked around a run on two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in six innings to lower his ERA to 0.99 across Class A Advanced and Double-A.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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