Mejia walks off with highs in hits, RBIs

Indians catching prospect delivers early, late in Scrappers' victory

Francisco Mejia is the second-youngest qualified hitter in the New York-Penn League this season. (Jesse Piecuch)

By Jake Seiner / | August 28, 2014 12:15 AM

Francisco Mejia put together a career night for Mahoning Valley on Wednesday, and the team needed every hit and RBI he delivered to come away with a win.

The Indians' No. 6 prospect delivered a walk-off single in the ninth inning to give the Scrappers an 8-7 New York-Penn League win over Jamestown.

Mejia established career highs with four hits and five RBIs. He lifted his average to .277 in 61 games, contributing a triple and a double while notching his second base of the season.

"It was just one of those nights, I was in a groove," Mejia told The [Youngstown] Vindicator. "I've felt good at the plate lately. Things are starting to come around."

The 18-year-old catcher stepped to the pltae in the ninth, needing a home run for the cycle. And while he fell short of the milestone, he delivered plenty for the Scrappers. With a man on third, Mejia sent a ground ball into right field to lock up the win.

"I knew I needed a home run for the cycle, but my only thought in the ninth was to get the ball out of the infield," Mejia told the newspaper. "That was my only focus, to do whatever it took to give us the win."

The native of the Dominican Republic got Mahoning Valley rolling with a two-run triple in the bottom of the first, scoring Greg Allen and 2014 first-round pick Bradley Zimmer. In the third inning, Mejia plated Allen and Zimmer again, this time with a line-drive double to right.

Mejia picked up his third hit in the fifth with a leadoff single to right. He flied to left in the seventh before ending things in the ninth.

Mejia is the second-youngest qualified hitter in the league, trailing only Mets infielder Amed Rosario. Despite that, he earned a trip to the All-Star game earlier this month.

The teenager signed with Cleveland in 2012 and jumped straight to the United States in 2013, hitting .305 with an .872 OPS in 30 Rookie-level Arizona League games.

Mejia also impressed with his defensive tools.'s prospect team graded his arm as a 70 out of 80 on the scouting scale, noting that "his athleticism and well-above-average arm and receiving skills are more than enough to make him an everyday catcher in time."

The backstop has caught 31 percent of would-be basestealers this season and flashed the arm on Wednesday when he picked off Elvis Escobar at first base in the top of the fifth.

"Frankie gets his cuts, he has some tools, there is no question about that," Scrappers manager Ted Kubiak told The Vindicator. "He gets things done, both at the plate and behind the plate. He's agile, he never gets tired and he has an incredible body for the game.

"For him to squat back there the way he does all the time -- he's been beat up and banged, but he never complains."

Jake Seiner is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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