Five facts about Francisco Mejia's amazing Minor League hit streak
While the longest hitting streak in the Majors this year has been Jackie Bradley Jr.'s 29-game streak -- barely more than half of the way toward Joe DiMaggio's record -- go down a few levels and you'll find the longest hitting streak since Roman Mejias hit in 55 straight Minor League games in 1954. That's right, after picking up a single on Friday night, the Indians' Francisco Mejia had hit in 49 straight games for Class A Advanced Lynchburg.
Ranked No. 4 in Cleveland's system by MLB Pipeline, here are some facts you should know about baseball's hottest hitter:
1. He's a catcher -- and a switch-hitter, too
That's right, a catcher! Catchers are always known more for their gloves than their bats, so the fact that he'd picked up hits across 49 straight games is absurd. (Also, his current Lynchburg Hillcats teammate: The wonderfully named Sicnarf Loopstok.)
His hit on Friday tied the pro record for a hit streak by a catcher as Harry Chozen also had a 49-game hit streak while in the Southern Association in 1945. As for the MLB hit streak record by a catcher: Benito Santiago had a 34-game hit streak with the Padres in 1987.
2. He's done it between levels
After starting the season with the Lake County Captains in Class A, where he started the streak on May 25, Mejia got the callup to the Class A Advanced Lynchburg Hillcats. All he's done is keep hitting. It's not just singles, either. His batting line with the Captains: .347/.384/.531 with seven home runs.
Since the callup: .352/.369/.505 with two dingers.
3. In a way, he was already at 50 games
If you were to count the Futures Game, that is. Mejia got three at-bats for the World team's 11-3 victory, going 1-for-3 with a run scored. Even facing the very best in the prospect world, nothing stops Mejia.
Of course, if we're counting the Futures Game, we should probably count Mejia's appearance in the Midwest League's All-Star Game. Naturally, the catcher went 1-for-3 with a run scored in that game, too.
4. He was nearly traded during the streak
Not only has Mejia had to battle the flu during his campaign -- just returning from a few days off with the illness to pick up his single on Friday -- and go against more difficult pitching following hiis promotion, but Mejia was nearly traded. Before Jonathan Lucroy vetoed the trade with the Indians, Mejia was among the prospects set to be sent back to the Brewers.
UPDATED: 5. The record is still 19 games away
Mejia has a long way to go if he wants to break the all-time record of 69 games, held by Joe Wilhoit, who reached the mark in 1919.
The Lynchburg Hillcats lost to the Winston-Salem Dash, 7-5, on Saturday night, and at first it looked like he'd have to start his quest over. Though Mejia reached base on an error in third inning and walked in the ninth, he wasn't able to pick up a hit ... or so it seemed:
BREAKING: Official scorer changes error to double, giving Francisco Mejia a 50-game hitting streak. https://t.co/aESTMndKBO- MiLB.com (@MiLB) August 14, 2016
If Mejia is to break the record, assuming he doesn't miss another game, the earliest he could accomplish the feat would be Sept. 3 vs. Salem.