Akron backstop adding power to prodigious hitting skills
Francisco Mejia's .369 average ranks third among qualified full-season Minor League hitters. (David Monseur/MiLB.com)
By John Parker / MiLB.com | June 12, 2017 2:20 PM ET
Indians prospect Francisco Mejia made a name for himself last year with a 50-game hitting streak -- the longest in the Minor Leagues' modern era.
Amazingly, the 21-year-old catcher has been even better this season after moving up to Double-A Akron, and along with his growth has come added power. Mejia earned Eastern League Offensive Player of the Week honors by going 14-for-23 with five homers, two doubles and 10 RBIs in just five games last week.
Mejia began the week with three long balls on the season before delivering back-to-back two-homer games -- the first two of his career -- on Wednesday and Thursday. The Dominican-born switch-hitter capped the week with four more hits Sunday, raising his season average to .369. Bowie's Garabez Rosa ranks second in the Eastern League with a .335 mark.
"The young man never takes any shortcuts," Akron hitting coach Johnny Narron told MiLB.com Wednesday after Mejia began his surge with a career-high six RBIs. "He's always in the cage every single day and he always wants to learn. He's very committed to making the big leagues, and he's putting in the work he needs to be doing every single day to get it done."
The Eastern League nod is Mejia's third Player of the Week honor. He was the final New York-Penn League winner of the 2014 season with Mahoning Valley and claimed the Midwest League honor once last June with Lake County.
Last year, the Indians' No. 2 prospect hit .342/.382/.514 overall in 102 games with Lake County and Class A Advanced Lynchburg. This season he's batting .369/.412/.631 and is just three home runs short of last year's 11, despite playing only 38 games so far.
"I'm not surprised at all," Narron said. "He's got power from both sides of the plate and he's very balanced from either side."
Here is the full list of Minor League Offensive Players of the Week for the week of June 5-11: