Sunday afternoon, the longest hitting streak in modern minor league baseball history came to an end.
Indians catching prospect Francisco Mejia went 0 for 3 with a walk for the High Class-A Lynchburg Hillcats in their 6-0 win over the Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox) (box score), which ended his hitting streak at an unbelievable 50 games.
Mejia's hitting streak is the longest since the minors reclassified in 1963, and it's the longest by any player at any level since Roman Mejias hit safely in 55 straight games with the Waco Pirates of the Class-B Big State League in 1954.
Now, it's really over. @Indians' Francisco Mejia goes 0-for-3 for @HillcatBaseball. Amazing streak ends at 50. pic.twitter.com/Jr73tN17G9— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 14, 2016
Add in Joe DiMaggio's major league record 56-game hitting streak with the 1941 Yankees, and Mejia just put together the fifth longest hitting streak in professional baseball history. And yes, DiMaggio owns two of the five longest hitting streaks.
Mejia's streak briefly came to an end Saturday night after going 0 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout. However, a scoring change after the game gave him a double on this play to keep the streak alive. It was originally ruled an error on the third baseman.
I know a scoring change to extended a record hitting streak is a bit sketchy, but scoring changes happen almost every game in the minors. The official scorer said that, after reviewing video, he determined the third baseman could not make the play with normal effort, hence the scoring change.
Anyway, the 20-year-old Mejia hit .386/.414/.599 with 78 hits, 15 doubles, eight homers, 10 walks, and only 29 strikeouts in 215 plate appearances during his 50-game hitting streak. The streak stretched from May 27 to August 13.
Mejia was able to put that record hitting streak together despite a) being promoted midway through the streak, b) sitting for several days in row on multiple occasions for All-Star Games and the Futures Game, c) being a full-time catcher, and d) being nearly two full years younger than the average player in his league. Pretty impressive.
MLB.com ranked Mejia as the fourth best prospect in the Indians' system and the 95th best prospect in all of baseball in their recently released midseason top 100 prospects list. Here's a snippet of their free scouting report:
The switch-hitting Mejia knows how to handle the bat. He has natural hitting ability from both sides of the plate and makes hard contact consistently, while his combination of physical strength and bat speed produces good raw power ... Mejia continues to develop behind the plate, where he projects to be at least an average defender. His well above-average arm strength is his best tool ... And while he's improved as a blocker and game-caller as a result of handling advanced pitching staffs, the 20-year-old still has significant gains to make as a receiver. With undeniable upside, Mejia has all the ingredients to develop into an everyday catcher in the big leagues.
If Mejia's name sounds familiar, that's because the Indians agreed to trade him to the Brewers as the headliner in the package for catcher Jonathan Lucroy at the trade deadline. Lucroy used his limited no-trade clause to block the deal, so Mejia remains with the Indians.
Overall, Mejia is hitting .345/.378/.519 with 26 doubles and nine home runs in 87 total games at two different Single-A levels. The Indians originally signed him as a 16-year-old amateur out of the Dominican Republic back in 2014. He received a $350,000 bonus and is now clearly the team's catcher of the future.