Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Welcome to the Blue, Erick Mejia!

I guess the Dodgers feel it's time to get a little deeper in the infield.  It has just been announced that they have traded starting pitcher Joe Wieland to Seattle for infielder Erick Mejia.  The recent additions to the starting pitching staff and with several top prospects knocking at the door, the opportunity for Weiland to play a role on the Dodgers was quickly floating away.  So, they send him northward in exchange for a kid who plays on the diamond - an area currently shallow in depth.  That's not to say that Mejia is any sort of answer.  From the looks of it, he doesn't appear to be a rising star.  But there might to be some promise.

Via Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors:
Mejia, 21, saw action at four levels last year in his age-20 season, batting a combined .282/.346/.339 with 20 stolen bases. He’s shown virtually no power to this point in his pro career, homering just once in 528 plate appearances, though he’s also displayed a solid knowledge of the strike zone, walking at a 10.8 percent clip against a strikeout rate of just 14.8 percent. Mejia didn’t rank among the Mariners’ top 30 prospects according to either MLB.com, but Baseball America did rank him 21st among Seattle farmhands last offseason. In that same offseason, Fangraphs mentioned Mejia as a “player of note” even though he didn’t rank among Seattle’s best prospects, with former FG scribe Kiley McDaniel writing that Mejia was an average runner with “enough glove to stick at short and enough bat that it matters.”
Per a March 2015 report at Prospect Insider.com:
Mejia is a slick fielder with good plate skills and promising gap power. He was a bit old for the rookie league last summer, but now has posted two strong years with the bat. Mejia is an above-average runner, but is not a burner and has yet to learn to steal bases — he managed 26 on 35 attempts combined the past two summers. Mejia has a shot to start the year in Class-A Clinton.
Via Rick Randall at Scout.com in August 2015:
While he has played mostly second base for the AquaSox and has made nine errors in 61 chances during his time at short at Tacoma, Clintonm Everett and the AZL, Mejia has the defensive chops to play shortstop at a high level as he matures. The bat he's shown this season and last -- both in his ability to make contact and in his ability to hit the ball hard -- say that there is a chance for him to make some noise in the system even if he's ultimately moved off of short, though. Keep an eye on him.
Per a Dodgers press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired minor league infielder Erick Mejia from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitcher Joe Wieland.

Mejia, 21, has a .273 career batting average with 49 stolen bases, a home run and 42 RBI in 133 minor league games in the Mariners organization after being signed as an amateur free agent on June 30, 2012 out of the Dominican Republic. In 2015, the switch-hitter combined to hit .282 in 51 games with Triple-A Tacoma, Single-A Clinton, Single-A Everett and the Rookie-level AZL Mariners, while successfully stealing 20 bases in 21 attempts. During the course of his minor league career, Mejia has posted a .908 fielding percentage in 78 games (72 starts) at shortstop and a .989 mark in 48 games (44 starts) at second base.

Wieland, 25, spent the majority of the 2015 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City (10-5 4.59 ERA in 22 G, 21 GS), but also made two starts for the Dodgers, going 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA. He was originally acquired by Los Angeles from San Diego on Dec. 18, 2014 in a five-player deal and has a 1-5 record with a 5.85 ERA in 11 career big league games (nine starts) with the Padres (2012, ’14) and Dodgers (2015).

The Dodgers now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
In celebration of Mejia's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from Scout.com and the 1968 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

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