Cardinals sign SS Mejia, C Rodriguez

January 15th, 2022

The Cardinals added an infielder who patterns his game after Javier Báez and a power-hitting catching prospect with room and an intriguing youngster out of South Korea among their 12 international signings on Saturday.

St. Louis, which has a bonus pool of $6,262,600, announced that it has a deal with shortstop Jonathan Mejia, who ranks No. 14 on’s Top 50 International Prospects list, and catcher Luis Rodriguez, who ranks No. 26. The club also signed outfielder Won-Bin Cho, a highly touted 17-year-old from Seoul who reportedly turned down the KBO Draft in order to pursue opportunities with MLB teams.

Mejia’s hit tool makes him one of the top prospects in this year’s international class. Specifically, he shows advanced plate coverage along with average power (and flashes of plus power). He projects to have slightly above-average game power in the future, and his bat speed is already above average.

On defense, Mejia shows plus arm potential, and he is expected to stay at shortstop as long as his abilities enable him to play the position. There’s a chance he develops into an offense-first second or third baseman.

Mejia trains with Nercy Brito, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program, in the Dominican Republic.

Rodriguez swings with lots of lift and shows above-average plate coverage. There’s power potential and he can already hit the ball out of the park.

Rodriguez's overall defense is emerging, and he has been working on blocking and receiving pitches. He has the footwork and the quickness to develop into a solid-to-average defender with an average arm. Rodriguez could eventually move from catcher to first base, but he projects to have enough hitting ability and power to stay at the position as he makes his way through the Minor Leagues.

Rodriguez trains with Venezuela’s Jose Luis Montero, another member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association finalized a deal in March 2020 that addressed the international signing period during the pandemic. The 2022 international signing period runs through Dec. 15, the second year in a row the period, which previously began July 2, started in January.

The current rules also state that teams are not allowed to trade any of their international pool money. Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Here are the prospects who have agreed to deals with the Cardinals in the 2022 international signing period:

Jonathan Mejia, SS, Dominican Republic
Luis Rodriguez, C, Venezuela
Yordalin Pena, CF, Dominican Republic
Arfeni Batista, SS, Dominican Republic
Leonel Sequera, RHS, Venezuela
Won-Bin Cho, OF, South Korea
Jovi Galvez, RHS, Dominican Republic
Nelfy Ynfante, RHS, Dominican Republic
Yordy Herrera, LHS, Dominican Republic
Jose Suriel, RHS, Dominican Republic
Diego Dominguez, RHS, Mexico
Junior Chirinos, RHS, Venezuela