This last week the St. Louis Cardinals promoted a not-very-well-known infielder to the major league roster, Alex Mejia. The move was made when the club decided to send shortstop Aledmys Diaz to Memphis for a reset similar to that of Randal Grichuk or Kolten Wong last year.
As I did with Luke Voit, I wanted to give you background information on Alex Mejia, also what to expect, and what the future hold.
The Cardinals selected Mejia in the 4th round of the 2012 draft out of the University of Arizona. Mejia was coming off of a National Championship with the Wildcats and was teammates with former Cards minor leaguer Kurt Heyer. Mejia becomes the 6th member of that 2012 Cards draft class to make the major leagues, joining Michael Wacha, Stephen Piscotty, Carson Kelly, Tim Cooney, and Kyle Barraclough.
Here is the path Mejia has taken through the Cardinals minor league system:
2012: Batavia – Short Season
2013: Peoria – Low -A
Palm Beach – High-A
2014: Palm Beach
Springfield – Double-A
Memphis – Triple-A
2016: Memphis and Springfield
2017: Memphis and Springfield
As you can see, Mejia has gotten around the Cards system and has nearly 2,000 minor league plate appearances with over half of those coming at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Defensively, he has made starts at second base, shortstop, and third base with his primary pitching being shortstop.
Offensively, Mejia has been below average. He is not going to strikeout, but he is also not going to give you a great walk total. Over those near 2,000 plate appearances, Mejia has only 15 career home runs. His bets offensive season came in 2015 when he produced a 101 wRC+ with Springfield and a 91 with Memphis. Cardinals fans should not expect much from Mejia offensively.
Defensively, Mejia’s best position is shortstop and he can do that at an above average clip. In 2014, he was named the best defensive shortstop in the Double-A Texas League. Where Mejia gets his value is in the ability to play second base and third base at average to above average clips. The Cardinals organization likes players for their bench who can play multiple positions and Mejia is a great example of that.
What does the future hold?
I think Mejia’s time on the major league level will be short-lived. As soon as the Cardinals think Aledmys Diaz has it figured out, they will promote him and send Mejia back down. While his position flexibility is a strength and is enticing, I don’t really see a future for Mejia at the major league level.
Prove me wrong, Alex Mejia.
Thanks for reading!