Adalberto Mejia

Position: LHSP
Level: Triple-A
Affiliate: Rochester Red Wings
Age: 23 yrs, 2m
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 195
B/T: Right / Left
Acquired: Signed as international free agent February 1, 2011 (SFG); Acquired in trade for E. Nunez 7/28/16 (MIN)

Prospect Spotlight

In what was his last start before being shut down for the season by the Twins, Mejia threw seven solid innings of five-hit, one-run ball in a 7-1 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on August 26.

Mejia is most certainly not his listed weight of 195 – he’s closer to 225-230 pounds – with a broad chest and rounded shoulders, and he is carrying some extra weight in the upper half and belt line. He has a high waist and thick lower half. His delivery is a simple, low-effort affair but he has some stiffness in his actions and doesn’t show much flexibility, though the arm action is quick. He starts with a small rock-step and moderate leg lift, and he doesn’t get a lot of drive or extension off the mound, with a short stride leading to a clean foot strike and balanced finish.

His low-3/4s arm slot has some deception to it, with a slight stab and short arm circle in back that can make it hard to pick up the ball.  While the mechanics have been known to be inconsistent in prior 2080 views here and here, there was not a noticeable variance in this view, and Mejia did a good job repeating.

Mejia’s M.O. for the start was to nibble the outside third with his 88-to-91 mph fastball (T92), and he had solid command of the pitch (especially after the fourth inning) and was getting some late sink in the lower range of the velo band, and some arm-side run in the higher range. His changeup was in the 79-to-82 mph range, and it was the most impressive offering of the start, commanding it with fade and late drop down in the zone to righties (of which eight were in the lineup), getting consistent swing and miss on the offering, and using it for putaway on three of his five strikeouts.

Here is some video from his 8/26 outing.

The second time through the lineup he started a few hitters off with the changeup to keep hitters off balance, and mixed in his slider effectively in the 77-to-82 mph range. He showed some variations in the break, with a 10-to-4 plane that started early, in addition to a true 3/4’s version. The slider showed below-average bite, but he was able to locate it well.

While not featuring overpowering stuff, Mejia showed that he had a plan on the mound, and he became more effective when sequencing all three pitches consistently.  He cruised through this start, getting sharper as the game went on, working deliberately, and getting first-pitch strikes on 10 of the last 12 batters he faced.  That said, the changeup would be the only pitch that I’d peg with an average grade (with the FB being fringy and the slider more in the below average-to-fringy range), and the low effort and stiff actions would give me some concern that what you see is what you get right now, and any projected improvement from here is probably tied to a combination of improving his conditioning, proving he can maintain his mechanics and effectiveness deeper into starts, and proving his durability over a full season (his 132 IP this season was a career high, up from 108 in 2014)— which adds up to a risky SP profile heading into next season. He’s a good bet to start out in the Rochester rotation again next year, and if his development stalls at its present level, look for some turns out of the bullpen in a middle-to-long relief role as the next option.