Cleveland Indians: Two prospects named to SiriusXM Futures Game

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 11: Francisco Mejia
GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 11: Francisco Mejia /

Cleveland Indians top prospects Francisco Mejia and Triston McKenzie were named to the SiriusXM Futures Game Monday.

The Cleveland Indians boast two representatives from their farm system at the SiriusXM Futures Game July 9 in Miami, Florida according to‘s Jordan Bastian. Catcher Francisco Mejia of the Double-A Akron RubberDucks, and RHP Triston McKenzie of the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, were both named to the team early Monday.

Needless to say, both are having outstanding seasons, and are well-deserving of the honor. McKenzie, a Florida-native, will suit up for the United States.

Meanwhile, the Dominican-native Mejia will play for the World squad.

While the 21-year-old Mejia is expected to arrive in Cleveland, Ohio before McKenzie, the latter may be a higher commodity for teams at the trade deadline.

If unfamiliar with McKenzie, here is a quick rundown on the righty from my initial look at the Indians top-10 prospects, according to Baseball America:

"McKenzie was the Indians No. 42 overall selection in the 2015 draft – his lanky, towering presence makes him hard to miss. At 6-foot-5 – and weighing just 165 pounds – the 19-year-old right-hander turned in an impressive 2016 campaign. Between Short-A Mahoning Valley and Full-A Lake County, McKenzie tallied a mark of 6-5 in 15 starts – including a sterling 1.62 ERA and .96 WHIP."

Recently — by his own lofty standards — McKenzie has struggled mildly with his command. The Florida-native’s 3.71 ERA in June is his highest this season, but the traits which highlight his limitless potential are apparent as ever.

In 14 starts with Lynchburg in the Carolina League (CAR), via Baseball America, the spindly-hurler owns a 6-4 record, with a 3.16 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. But most impressively, McKenzie has 104 strikeouts in just 82.2 innings pitched.

McKenzie’s dominance at the High-A level is evident by his presence atop nearly every CAR League statistical category.

Triston McKenzie Carolina League Ranks


McKenzie’s commanding performance at High-A this season solidifies his standing as one of the brightest young arms in baseball. Meanwhile, Mejia’s selection to the World squad in the July 9 contest was a foregone conclusion.

Also according to Baseball America, the switch-hitting catcher is the Cleveland Indians’ No.1 overall prospect — and he is not disappointing with Double-A Akron in 2017.

Francisco Mejia Eastern League Ranks

HR 9T-16th

Working for the RubberDucks, I have the pleasure of watching Mejia hit nearly 70 games during the season. I am no scout — nor will I pretend to be — but everything the 21-year-old catcher does looks big-league.

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If one has been around baseball long enough, they recognize the sound of the ball off the bat. A ball coming off a big-league hitter’s bat is thunderous. There’s an actual audible difference — outfielders Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier provided similar feelings when I watched batting practice last summer.

It’s a beautiful sound that very few players possess.

Therefore, I am patiently waiting for Mejia to make his MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians. Fellow catchers Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez are not the answer at catcher for the Tribe — a brief look at their 2017 production tells the entire story.

Catcher Table
1Gomes, YanC295118416318361004191649.221.306.356.66258
2Perez, RobertoC28311151011118501151331.

Provided by View Original Table

Gomes and Perez are hitting a combined .205 with 5 home runs and 34 RBI — accompanied with 80 strikeouts in 299 plate appearances, or a 26.8 strikeout percentage. Bottom line, Cleveland’s catchers can’t continue to perform this poorly. Luckily, they have Mejia if needed — and yes, they needed him yesterday.

Either way, two Tribe prospects will play in the Futures Game during the 2017 MLB All-Star weekend. I’ll take it. But I would be willing to wager Mejia is our everyday catcher by the end of the season.

Next: Why Mejia can skip Triple-A

The catcher position continues to drag the Indians down offensively, but a simple call-up would solve all of manager Terry Francona‘s woes stemming from behind the plate. Whenever Mejia does get that call-up to the show, he will deliver. Accompanied with McKenzie, the future looks bright for the Wahoos.