The Keepers - #1 - SP - Jenrry Mejia

1. Jenrry Mejia

Mejia pitched for the 2007 DSL Mets, going 2-3, 2.47 in 14 games (7 starts). He also struck out 47 batters in 43.2 IP. Mejia's arsenal includes a 91-95 MPH fastball that when low in the zone has tons of movement, sometimes tail and sometimes sink. This sets up his 77-80 mph hook that drops off the table.

In 2008, Mejia pitched for both the GCL Mets, and Brooklyn, going a combined 5-2, 2.89, in 14 starts. He struck out 67 batters in 71.2 IP.

September 2008: Brooklyn pitching coach Hector Berrios on: Jenrry Mejia: “To be here at 18 and playing so well at this level is really impressive. He sits on 94 miles per hour and can get up to 97. He doesn’t quite have the extension of a guy like Holt has, but considering how young he is, I think he has a lot of potential.”

The Cyclones web site said: The 18-year-old Mejia (6’0”, 182) was signed by the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in 2007, out of the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo). Mejia began his professional career last season, for the Venezuelan Summer League Mets, going 2-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 14 games (seven starts). In 43.2 innings, he allowed 24 hits, 17 runs, 12 earned, and 27 walks, with 47 strikeouts.

In September, Patrick Hickey wrote on: Jenrry Mejia- Jekyll and Hyde. When this youngster is off, he leaves the ball up in the zone and lacks the poise needed to get professional hitters out on a consistent basis. However, when he’s on his game, he mixes in a more than solid 12-6 curve with a 95-97 MPH fastball and gets outs via the strikeout at a solid pace. Considering his age, Mejia is definitely worth keeping an eye on and with plenty of confidence and charisma on the mound already, should develop into a major league caliber pitcher if he learns to develop some sort of consistency. Final Grade- B

February 2009: From Toby Hyde: - #5 - RHP Jenry Mejia - Why Ranked Here: A very late comer to baseball, Mejia brings a special fastball. Virtually unknown entering 2008, the broad chested and big shouldered Mejia introduced himself with a 93-95 mph heater that easily allowed him to conquer the GCL and then New York Penn League. His second pitch is a hard changeup with a little sink at 87-88 mph, an offering with the same velocity as some of his teammates’ fastballs. It’s just enough off his fastball to catch hitters out in front and induce lots of groundballs. His curve is his third pitch. In the NYP, he struggled to find his release spot at times, but when found his release, he snapped off a short tight bender that showed plus potential. There’s some effort in his delivery, raising concerns about command down the road and a risk of injury. However, given his age (20 in October 2009) and experience (slight) his command is ahead of where one might expect it. The Mets’ staff raved about Mejia’s work ethic and intelligence. - 2008: Mejia made clear with three dominating starts in the GCL that the rookie league simply did not provide enough challenge for him. Promoted to Brooklyn in the first week of July, Mejia walked a season-high five batters in his first NYP League start and 11 batters in his first 18 innings (5.5 BB/9). In his final 38.2 IP in the league he walked just 12 batters (2.8 BB/9). That’s an impressive adjustment for a very young pitcher. When he reached the NYP, he tried to pitch with his curveball instead of his changeup as his second pitch. Once he returned to his change as his second offering, he threw more strikes and worked himself into better counts. Also, his curve improved over the course of the summer. Projected 2009 Start: Savannah rotation. St. Lucie is a possibility, but given Mejia’s age, and the number of older, other slightly more experienced arms fighting for time in the FSL, I see no reason to push Mejia to advanced-A yet.

February 2009: MYOB on: - Jenrry Mejia RHP - signed out of the Dominican Republic for only $16,500, showing you that there are good bargains out there if you have the scouts to find them. He has a mid-90s fastball now that projects to the upper 90s as he fills out. He needs to improve his command and work his secondary pitches more, becoming less reliant on the fastball. He limited opponents to a .199 average and finished with a combined 2.89 ERA at two levels. If he improves his secondary pitches he could develop into a top of the rotation starter, otherwise he will be closer material.

9-9-9 From http://www.hardballtimes.com/ : - What's not to like about this kid? At 19 years-old, Mejia posted a 1.97 ERA in 50.1 High-A innings. Bumped up to Double-A Binghamton, his superficial numbers look weak (0-5, 4.47 ERA), but his peripherals are still solid. He's suffering from a .350 BABIP thanks in part to a mediocre defense; however, he has a 3.49 FIP and has struck out 47 batters in just 44.1 innings. His walks have increased a tick, but with his age and talent, Mejia could find his way into some Top 50 (or higher) prospect lists this year.

9-15-09 from: - http://myworldofbaseball.com/wordpress/?cat=42  - 7. Jenrry Mejia - The third Dominican on the top ten list, with Flores being from Venezuela. Jenrry had a solid season in the Florida State League with the Saint Lucie Mets, finishing with a 1.97 ERA in nine starts. While Mejia did not struggle as badly as Holt, he found that AA Binghamton was more of a challenge with a 4.47 ERA in 10 starts. He was a little more hittable in AA (.217 to .263). Among the pitchers on this list he is the hardest thrower, and as he gains strength he could routinely hit 100 on the radar gun. This may make him an attractive option for the bullpen if his secondary pitches don’t improve.

10-16-09 from http://www.projectprospect.com/ : Everyone's talking about Jenrry Mejia. He evoked a storm on twitter yesterday by touching 98.2 MPH with his fastball. Thanks to the Brooks Baseball AFL PitchFX tool, we have access to a detailed breakdown of Mejia's 39-pitch outing. His fastball sat in the 94-96 range and he threw it for strikes a little over half the time (54.2%). Ten of his 11 changeups were 86-87 MPH and two of them got swing-throughs -- 63.6% strikes. Of the four curveballs he threw, only one was a strike -- he ranged from 76-78 with the offering. He did not record swing-throughs with his fastball or curve, according to PitchFX. Here are a few notes that I got from a hitter who faced Mejia in the Eastern League this season: He was filthy. His fastball has hard cut and sits 94-98. His changeup was really good (good movement).

1-10-10 Forecast: - Everybody loves Jenrry Mejia. He was the talk of the winter leagues, both for his speed and the speed the ball went off opponent’s bats. He still has a long way to go and will start again at AA, but anyone who has spent any time observing him says he’s a can’t miss. Me? He’s a closet closer.

4-6-10 – Jack Flynn on Mack’s Mets: - At a time when Jenrry Mejia should be donning a Binghamton Mets jersey and preparing for his Opening Day assignment against Akron on Thursday, he is instead in the back of Jerry Manuel's bullpen having his development stunted. Relievers are made, not born. It's an old-school way of thinking, but I truly believe that every pitcher should be given an opportunity to fail as a starter before being converted into a reliever. By pre-emptively putting Mejia in the bullpen based on 15 Spring Training innings, the Mets are crippling his potential to develop secondary pitches and to blossom into a top-flight starter.

4-28-10: - http://benmaller.com/mlb  - As the Mets’ bullpen has exceeded expectations in the early part of the season, the need for Jenrry Mejia might be diminishing. But Jerry Manuel remains adamant that the 20-year-old will be a bigger part of the pen rather than be pushed out and sent to tune up for an eventual starting role. Asked if the emergence of Fernando Nieve in the pen could free up Mejia to become a starter, Manuel declined, instead noting that he’d like to work him more into a late-inning role

5-6-10: - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/someone-help-the-mets  - Ignore the extra innings mismanagement of Francisco Rodriguez. That’s merely another bullet point on Manuel’s pink slip. Consider the horrendous handling of Jenrry Mejia to date. Manuel has instructed him to focus on his fastball – presumably the pitch that needs the least work for Mejia to become a good starter. If telling the organization’s best pitching prospect to disregard developing his secondary stuff isn’t enough, then how about then using that pitcher in lower leverage situations than just about everyone else in the bullpen? Manuel is actually using Mejia in the perfect developmental situations, yet he’s capping that development by disallowing him to throw his curve and change-up as often as he wants. Meanwhile, Mejia’s service clock continues to tick

5-22-10: - SP Jenrry Mejia: It’s impossible to project Mejia’s future right now because he’s supposed to return to the minors and be stretched out back to a starter. The problem is he’s still sitting in the Queens pen. So far this season: 20 outings, 19.0-IP, 3.79 ERA, 14-K, 11-BB… okay, but not what a 19-year old is supposed to be doing. The good news… he’s an extremely talented young man that should be a Met for a very long time.

5-26-10 from: - http://baseballanalysts.com/  - In combining both horizontal and vertical movement, it's evident that Peter Moylan generates enough movement on his fastball to throw it at elite levels, while Cabrera, again, has a mediocre-to-awful fastball in spite of his velo. Remember, I'm only including 95 MPH pitches, so imagine how bad his fastball must have been in 2009 at 91 MPH. Cabrera is the poster boy for pitchers who can throw gas but have no command or movement, rendering their fastball ineffective. Kevin Jepsen, Jonathan Broxton, and Brian Wilson are examples of pitchers whose 90-MPH pitches are better than most pitchers' 95s, since those guys are throwing off speed at 90. Also of note: Jenrry Mejia's fastball has excellent movement

6-17-10: - http://baseballanalysts.com/  - I have no idea if Citi Field's PITCHf/x system is calibrated correctly, but Jenrry Mejia has been throwing a fair share of fastballs that cut toward his glove side. Most fastballs tail at least somewhat to the glove side. Mejia still needs to command his pitches, but I believe a couple decades ago there was another Latin American 20-year-old learning to harness a fastball with incredible cutting movement who went on to close games in New York. At least the Yankees let Mo fail as a starter before he moved to the pen

6-20-10: - http://www.rotoworld.com/  - Jenrry Mejia was sent to Double-A Brooklyn after Sunday's game and will start in the minors. His value is highest as a starter, obviously, and it appears that Mets manager Jerry Manuel finally saw the light. He acknowledged that Mejia might be being wasted with use in the seventh inning. Now, the Mets will attempt to get him stretched out for my extensive use later on in this season. Keep in mind that there is still plenty of dispute as to whether Mejia should be a starter or a reliever, so if he struggles, the team could always put him back in the bullpen

6-21-10: - Maybe it took two loses to the Yanks, or maybe somebody finally just hit Jerry in the head, but Jenrry Mejia has been returned to the AA-Binghamton market are put back into the starting rotation. I also understand he will start on Wednesday. All this makes my prediction of Mark Cohoon being promoted from Savannah here a distant long shot, but we’ll see. I still think there’s a good chance that Mike Antonini will move on to Buffalo this month. Right now, the B-Mets rotation (Mejia, Antonini, Eric Niesen, Josh Stinson, and Chris Schwinden) is a pretty good one. And, no AAAA waste here. All pitchers that actually have a chance of getting to the Bigs. Is the Mejia move something that will enhance his value in a trade. I think so, but we’ll see.

6-27-10: - Suffering from a stiff right shoulder, Jenrry Mejia was forced to leave his start for Double-A Binghamton today after just an inning-plus. Mejia faced two batters in the second inning and seven for the game against Akron before departing. He allowed no runs, surrendering two hits and two walks while striking out two. He threw 43 pitches, 23 strikes. The Mets said Mejia was removed for "precautionary" reasons, though certainly this is an alarming development.

6-28-10: - Jenrry Mejia was examined in New York on Monday and diagnosed with a posterior cuff strain in his right shoulder. The Mets say he will return to throwing "as tolerated," but we're not exactly sure what that might mean. Mejia was lifted from a start at Double-A Binghamton on Sunday after complaining of discomfort in his throwing shoulder. He's been working on building up his stamina down in the minors with the hope of returning to the big leagues as a starter around late July

7-28 from: - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2010/7/28/1592006/mets-farm-q-a-with-baseball  - It shouldn't affect him long term unless the Mets start jerking around him, shuttling him back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation and from the minors to Triple-A. He could wind up being a reliever in the long run, but it would be silly not to try to turn him into a quality starter.

8-2-10: Mejia’s rehabbing stint made its way to St. Lucie last night and it was quite impressive: 4.0-IP, 1-H, 0-R, 7-K. Mejia’s conversion back to a starter seems to be right on target and I expect him back in the Binghamton rotation by mid-August and on to Queens in September.

8-5-10: - http://www.minorleagueball.com/2010/8/5/1606179/2010-top-20-new-york-mets  - Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Grade B+: Back in the minors on rehab for a strained shoulder, after spending most of the spring in New York, 3.25 ERA with the Mets, 17/15 K/BB in 28 innings, 29 hits. He held his own before getting hurt, but I still think it was stupid for him to be on the major league roster this year.

8-8-10: - It would be impossible not to write about Mejia’s performance last night. First, the stats: 4.1-IP, 3-H, 0-R, 4-K, 2-BB, 10-GB. He sat most of the night at 96 and hit 99 once. His seasonal minor league ERA, where he’s been a starter all the time, is now 1.17 (his WHIP is 1.69 due to 6-BB in 7.2-IP). I’m sure we’ll see him in Queens again this year, this time as a starter.

8-14: - Look… if last night’s outing by Jenrry Mejia is the worst he ever pitches, we’ll have ourselves a future HOFer. Mejia went: 5.2-IP, 8-H, 3-ER, 3-BB, 5-K, and his AA-ERA “soared” to 2.70. Reports from the stadium were that he didn’t have the pinpoint accuracy he had his last outing, but the velocity was still there. Mejia is sitting at 96 now, and hit 98 again last night. Remember… the Mets really only need one more SP (Santana, Niese. Pelfrey, Dickey). This sure looks like a strong candidate for 2011 (btw… Mejia threw this game against Michael Cisco, son of ex-Met Galen Cisco).

8-20-10: - We’re running out of superlatives involving Jenrry Mejia’s current return to an SP role in Binghamton. He easily had his best minor league outing on Wednesday night, going 7.0-IP, 1-H, 0-R, 8-K, 2-BB, with a 1.77 ERA. Even more important, Dylan Owen, who seemed lost this year as a starter, seems to be reinventing himself as a successful reliever, going 2.0 hitless innings and lowering his seasonal ERA to 3.57.Okay, Owen’ reliever ERA (4.55) is still higher that the six outings he started (2.70 ERA)… so why the relief role? I’m getting confused. Nack to the main issue… Mejia is game ready which is very good news for the Mets.

9-1-10: - http://bleacherreport.com/articles/445049-mets-roster-expansion-keep-your-eyes-peeled-for-these-five-guys  - So now that the complete mismanagement of Mejia’s development is out of the way, time for him to head back up to the big league club. Hopefully, all we'll see from him is a start or two, just to see if he pitches as well as he did out of the pen earlier this year. He’s been impeccable since being sent back down to the minors and recovering from injury concerns. He’s made six starts at Binghamton, four since returning from his injury. He’s 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA in those starts with 26 K’s and a complete game shutout. His control hasn’t been anything special, but he’s still really young, so it isn’t surprising. Interestingly enough, lefties have hit just .167 against him. We’ve seen him mopping up for the Mets, but now it’s time to see how he fares in five or six innings against a team like Philadelphia.

11-15-10 from: - http://projectprospect.com/article/2010/11/14/2010-digital-prospect-guide-top-100-write-ups  - Filthy, nasty, dirty, explosive, electric, dominant, powerful, high-upside talent. Any teenager who can touch the high-90s and blow away full-season talent will gain a lot of believers in a hurry. Mejia made a near-seamless transition from short-season ball in 2008 to Double-A in 2009. Performances like that don’t happen very often. When we saw Mejia, his changeup was very impressive. It was so good and he relied on it so much that he almost threw it too often. His explosive fastball sits in the mid-90s and has outstanding late cut. If he could learn to command it, he has enough velo and movement to throw it 80% of the time. His slider is inconsistent. Mejia tricks people into believing he has easy mechanics by utilizing a calm windup. While his windup is controlled, he employs max-effort arm action and a large amount of upper-body torque. Mejia’s deceptive but also relatively inconsistent. He’s demonstrated that he still has improvements to make with his command. Hard-throwers also are at risk of wearing their arms down faster than guys who don’t touch the mid-90s. Mejia was sidelined from June 24th to August 11th last year due to a strained middle finger. He’s an outstanding athlete. It’s easy to look at Mejia and think front-line closer. He could provide MLB value in 2010 if the Mets want to give him a chance at that kind of role. But with someone with his rare power/ground-ball arsenal, there’s too much upside to not give him a chance to prove himself as a starter.

11-25-10 from: - http://myworldofbaseball.com/wordpress/2010/11  - 3. Jenrry Meija RHP - Myworld thought it was a mistake for the Mets to start Jenrry in the bullpen. Once the Met season started to turn south the Mets seemed to see the error of their ways and sent him down to work in the rotation. He developed arm problems, putting a slight delay to the transformation, but after he got healthy Jenrry was lights out, putting together a 1.28 ERA in nine starts at various levels of the minors. Opponents hit him at a .200 clip and he had a positive 16/46 walk to K ratio. He was called up in September to get three starts, stumbling to a 7.94 ERA. In his first two starts he gave up 17 hits in just nine innings. Jennry throws hard and would work well out of the pen, but the Mets need starters. His fastball can hit the mid-90s, but sits more comfortably in the low 90s as a starter, but with lots of movement. He mixes that fastball with a change and curveball. If he has a good spring he will begin the season in the Mets starting rotation.


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