The 11th-ranked prospect on MLB’s list and the top-ranked catching prospect in baseball, Mejia jumped from Double-A Akron to the majors last season. In September, he got the call, but with Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez in front of him Mejia didn’t get much opportunity to showcase his skills with the bat. He had only two hits, both singles. However, Mejia is unquestionably the real deal, and his minor league track record speaks for itself.
And with the aforementioned logjam at catcher, he might start at Triple-A this year, but there’s a hint of a possibility that Mejia might find a way to force himself into the lineup at another position.
He carries a $24 million cap hit in 2018, which leaves Minnesota with just over $26 million for the rest of its free-agency needs and to structure contract extensions this offseason.
Cousins earned $44 million playing under the franchise tag in each of his past two seasons in Washington and was a rare commodity as a proven, sub-30-year-old quarterback with very little injury history when he hit the open market.
I asked Laird whether the hype level for Kiyomiya is similar to what he saw with Ohtani the past couple of years. He laughed.
“Oh, yeah. Definitely. I mean, you go out to the back fields and you know where he is. The media’s all over there,” Laird said. “You’ll hear all the pictures getting taken. I mean, he’s supposedly the real deal. To hit 111 home runs in high school over the three years, that’s unheard of.”
This is the third year in a row the Fighters have held a spring camp in Arizona, but their first at Salt River Fields. I was there for an intrasquad game Monday, but didn’t get to see this legendary slugger swing the bat. He’s working his way back from an injured right thumb (he’s close to being back at full strength), so for now it’s just defensive work and soft toss in a cage. He looked fluid and natural with the glove at first base.
Crabtree would fill the possession receiver role that the Ravens had envisioned for Grant.