Puckett’s Pond presents our Top 10 Minnesota Twins prospects. At #10 is Adalberto Mejia.
Today, we start our countdown of the Top 10 Twins prospects. For a look at who just missed the cut, check out our Honorable Mentions.
#10 – Adalberto Mejia
Name: Adalberto Mejia
Position: SP Age: 23
Height: 6’3” Weight: 195 lbs.
Throws: Left Bats: Right
Acquired: Traded by the San Francisco Giants to the Twins for Eduardo Nunez
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Last season at the trade deadline, the Minnesota Twins traded Eduardo Nunez for Adalberto Mejia. Going into 2017, Mejia debuts tenth on the list, validating the trade the outgoing front office made at last year’s trade deadline.
While trading your only All-Star is risky, it did gain a starting pitcher. It helped that the Twins struck while Nunez’s trade value was at its highest.
He appeared in the 2016 Futures Game in San Diego, closing out the game for the World Team. He pitched one inning, in which he allowed no base runners while striking out Alex Bregman.
Mejia has been fairly consistent throughout his minor league career. He owns a 7.7 SO/9 IP, 2.1 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9, and 8.5 H/9.
His scouting report, like his stats, suggests he’s not a star in the making, but rather an average major league starter. Mejia has a 55 rated fastball, 50 rated slider and changeup, and a 40 rated curveball according to last year’s grading.
Through the stats and scouting reports, Mejia seems rather average. While it’s not wrong to infer he’s not going to be a top of the rotation guy, Mejia isn’t done developing. His curveball needs the most work. If Mejia improves that pitch, he can be a decent No. 3 or No. 4 starter.
What is concerning, however, is his batting average on balls in play. In 2016 at the Triple-A level, he owned a .328 BABIP. Usually the MLB average hovers at .300. It could very well be an outlier in Mejia’s career, as it’s the first time his BABIP rose above .300. However, it’s something to watch for in 2017.
Despite all this, Mejia’s pitch speeds and minor league stats compare closely to Julio Teheran. Both pitchers throw a four-seam and two-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup combination. Best case scenario, Mejia stays on track and becomes a slightly worse version of Teheran.
Notes: Mejia made his major league debut on August 20th last year with the Twins, and it didn’t go well. In 2.1 innings, he allowed five hits (including two extra base hits), two earned runs while walking one batter and striking out none. The prediction here is that Mejia will start at AAA.