CLEVELAND -- Indians fans have been clamoring about wanting Francisco Mejia's bat promoted to the Major League lineup. Opposing organizations are undoubtedly asking about the highly touted prospect in trade talks. One thing is clear: Mejia's future seems to be bright.That was evident again on Friday, when Mejia was named
CLEVELAND -- Indians fans have been clamoring about wanting Francisco Mejia's bat promoted to the Major League lineup. Opposing organizations are undoubtedly asking about the highly touted prospect in trade talks. One thing is clear: Mejia's future seems to be bright.
That was evident again on Friday, when Mejia was named to the World roster for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game for the third consecutive year. The catcher will join Minor League right-hander Kieran Lovegrove as Cleveland's representatives at the annual prospect showcase, which will take place at 4 p.m. ET on July 15 at Nationals Park on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com.
:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::
Being selected to three Futures Games has only been achieved a handful of times since the event's creation in 1999. In Indians history, shortstop Francisco Lindor (2012-14) and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo (2002, '04-05) were named to three rosters. Current Tribe slugger Edwin Encarnacion (2003-05) also accomplished the feat when he was a member of the Reds organization.
Mejia's selection comes on the heels of an otherworldly June at Triple-A Columbus for the catcher, who is rated not only as the Indians' top prospect, but as the No. 1 catching prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline. In 24 games last month, the 22-year-old hit .455 with 18 extra-base hits, 23 RBIs, 45 hits and a 1.193 OPS. That included a streak of eight multihit games from June 23-30, during which he hit .528 (19-for-36).
Through 72 games on the season for Columbus, Mejia is hitting .279 with seven home runs, 21 doubles, 31 runs scored and 42 RBIs. Mejia has split his time between catching (38 starts) and the outfield (22 starts), as the Indians have tried to enhance his versatility in an effort to potentially get him to the big leagues faster. At the moment, Cleveland is content with its Major League catching duo of Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez.
"I'm thrilled the kid Mejia is doing what he's doing, because I think we all feel like this kid's going to help us," Indians manager Terry Francona said recently. "[But] you don't want him to come up and sit the bench. That's not developing."
Mejia is from Bani, Dominican Republic, which is the same city that Indians star Jose Ramirez calls home. Lovegrove -- a first time Futures Game selectee -- was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Infielder Mpho' Ngoepe is the only player from South Africa to reach the Major Leagues.
Lovegrove, 23, is enjoying a breakout campaign as a reliever and has climbed to Double-A Akron from Class A Advacned Lynchburg already this season. After posting a 5.12 ERA in his first six professional seasons, the right-hander has turned in a 1.38 ERA through 25 appearances this year. Lovegrove (selected in the third round of the 2012 Draft) has 46 strikeouts against 18 walks in 39 innings between Lynchburg and Akron this season.
Carrasco activated, Hoyt acquired
The Indians made a handful of roster moves prior to Friday's game against the A's, bringing Carlos Carrasco back to the Major League rotation and adding an intriguing arm to their depth chart.
Cleveland activated Carrasco from the 10-day disabled list following his bout with a right elbow contusion and designated reliever George Kontos for assignment to clear a spot on the active roster. Removing Kontos from the 40-man roster also vacated a spot for righty James Hoyt, who was acquired from the Astros in exchange for Minor League pitcher Tommy DeJuneas.
Hoyt, who has been assigned to Columbus, has one option year remaining beyond 2018. The right-hander boasts a strikeout rate of 11.8 per nine innings in parts of three seasons (2016-18) with Houston. In 66 career MLB appearances, Hoyt has a 4.40 ERA with 94 strikeouts vs. 24 walks in 71 2/3 innings. He posted a 2.25 ERA with 33 strikeouts and eight walks in 28 innings for Triple-A Fresno this year.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.