Okay, Tribe fans, scale of 1-10, how do you feel about the Indians current major league catching situation?
Wait, no, you can’t use negative numbers. Stop that, I need a number between ONE and 10.
Wait, what? You mean the platoon of Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez isn’t setting the world on fire? Well, it surely can’t be that, bad…. can it?
2017 Gomes: .091/.200/.227
2017 Perez: .100/.111/.100
…yikes. And these two are who the Tribe told Jonathan Lucroy he’d have to compete against to win the starting job? Were they crazy?
Actually, yes, the Indians might have been crazy for telling Lucroy that. He’s mediocre defensive catcher on a good day, but he isn’t the gaping Interstellar-sized black hole that these two guys have been on offense for the past two seasons. I know it’s a small sample size in 2017, but we are firmly into Year 2 of this void. At some point, you have to stop looking at BABIP and small sample sizes like game one of the World Series and say “these guys just aren’t good hitters.”
Keep in mind, as an aside, that the Indians still won the Yan Gomes trade by default, because Esmil Rogers was last seen with an ERA north of 4.00 in the Korean Leagues. Folks, I live in Korea, and I see a lot of Korean baseball… half these guys would wash out at AA. So, Yan Gomes is better than Esmil Rogers, let’s get that out of the way. But the extension Gomes signed is looking more and more like dead weight on a franchise that only recently ventured into its checkbook again. The Indians owe Gomes $16,000,000 over the next two seasons, and that’s not chump change, but it’s also not a lost cause, because the Indians clearly have a plan at catcher.
Plan 1A was Jonathan Lucroy to bolster this current contention window, but Plan 1B might be even better, and it was a big part of that voided trade.
There’s a name in the Indians organization that you probably don’t know much about, but you should: Francisco Mejia. He’s merely 21 years old and playing in Akron for the Rubberducks, and he’s looking more and more like a real keeper of a talent.
Last year between A+ Lynchburg and A Lake County, Mejia hit .342/.382/.514. He hit 10 home runs, and he was a big plus defensively.
Oh, and he also had a 50-game hitting streak. Yeah, you read that right. And again, he’s only 21 years old.
The Indians plan is clear — Lucroy backed out (which is probably a good thing in hindsight), so now the two guys we have are just keeping the seat warm. It might take a year. It might take two years, but Mejia is the future. The team won’t upgrade that position, and they won’t leverage Mejia again – the throne is his, as soon as he grows into it.