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Indians' Mejia leads Players of the Week

No. 8 Cleveland prospect hits .520 with four homers over six games
June 13, 2016

Francisco Mejia may be repeating the Class A level, but it's almost like a whole new player is at and behind the plate for Lake County.

The Indians' No. 8 prospect went 13-for-25 (.520) with four homers, a double, 11 RBIs and eight runs scored in six games last week to take home Midwest League Offensive Player of the Week. The award is Mejia's first since he was named New York-Penn League Player of the Week for Class A Short Season Mahoning Valley on Sept. 2, 2014.

With hits in each of his six contests last week, the 20-year-old switch-hitting catcher has a 14-game hitting streak for the Captains, the second-longest active streak in the Midwest League behind teammate Tyler Krieger's 20-gamer. He twice homered in back-to-back games -- Tuesday/Wednesday and Friday/Saturday -- but his standout performance came Thursday when he collected a season-high four hits in four at-bats to lead a 6-5 win over Lansing.

Thanks to his latest run, Mejia leads the MWL with a .338 average and ranks second with a .507 slugging percentage and .881 OPS through 50 games. The Dominican Republic native returned to the Class A circuit after hitting just .243/.324/.345 in 109 games there last season. While Mejia is certainly collecting more hits, he is also making much louder contact this time around with his ISO jumping from .102 to .169. His strikeout rate has dropped slightly from 17.5 percent to 16.1, but he drew plaudits last week for his improved selectiveness at the plate.

"He just needs to continue to figure out the strike zone," Lake County hitting coach Kevin Howard told MiLB.com on Thursday. "Like most young hitters he'll chase, swing at pitches in the dirt, swing at pitches up in the strike zone. He's continuing to learn what pitches he can drive and what pitches he can take. I think for his age he's done a really good job.

"As he gets older and as he moves up levels, they're going to start throwing balls out of the strike zone a little bit more to see if they can get him to chase. So he needs to figure out the strike zone before he's ready to move up to the next level."

Mejia's offensive improvements are perhaps even more special given his abilities behind the plate. The backstop was given a 70 grade for his arm last offseason from MLB.com and has backed that up by throwing out 19 of 43 (44.2 percent) potential basestealers this season.

Here are the rest of the Minor League Offensive Players of the Week for June 6-12:

International -- Kyle Higashioka, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY): .545/.565/1.136, 5 G, 12-for-22, 4 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 7 R, 1 BB, 1 IBB, 4 K
Pacific Coast -- Jaycob Brugman, Nashville (OAK): .467/.485/.900, 7 G, 14-for-30, 7 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 9 R, 2 BB, 5 K
Eastern -- Rhys Hoskins, Reading (PHI): .467/.515/.967, 7 G, 14-for-30, 3 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 8 K)
Southern -- Daniel Palka, Chattanooga (MIN): .345/.375/.931, 7 G, 10-for-29, 1 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R, 2 BB, 11 K, 1 SB, 0 CS
Texas -- Willie Calhoun, Tulsa (LAD): .360/.407/.960, 7 G, 9-for-25, 3 2B, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 1 BB, 4 K
California -- Mike Ahmed, Rancho Cucamonga (LAD): .400/.478/.900, 6 G, 8-for-20, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 5 K
Carolina -- Joey Meneses, Carolina (ATL): .500/.519/.692, 6 G, 13-for-26, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Florida State -- Mitch Walding, Clearwater (PHI): .450/.500/.750, 6 G, 9-for-20, 0 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 K
South Atlantic -- Ryan Mountcastle, Delmarva (BAL): .469/.528/.813, 7 G, 15-for-32, 5 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB, 6 K, 0 SB, 1 CS

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.