Exit Interview 2017: Alex Mejia

For the sixth straight year, we’re taking a look back at everyone that played for the St. Louis Cardinals this season.  Whether they were a major contributor or a bit player, here all year or for just a little while, we’ll look at their season and talk about what went right and what went wrong.  The stat line listed is just their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers in the discussion may be for the entire year.  Imagine this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a little review on their way home for the winter.  As always when you see incredible artistry in the blogs, all credit for the header work goes to @cardinalsgifs.

Player: Alex Mejia

Season stats: 29 G, 49 PA, 6 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 13 K, .109/.146/.174, -16 OPS+, -0.2 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Hero 1, Goat 1

Overall grade: C-

Positives: Like so many others, made his major league debut….hit his home run in his third game, the only game where he got multiple hits….hit .200 against lefties….went 1-3 as a pinch-hitter….hit .286 on the first pitch….had a .481 OPS with two outs….was 2-5 with two outs and runners in scoring position….hit .335 in Memphis after being promoted from Springfield….hit .388 in road games in AAA….had a .393 average (11-28) in day games for Memphis….hit .351 in the second half for the Redbirds….played all four infield positions at the big league level, making just one error.

Negatives: I honestly haven’t seen a negative OPS+ before….hit .065 against righties, whom he saw about twice as much as lefties….had an .063 average in September….had a .309 OPS when he was the starter….had a .140 OPS when he got to two strikes….struck out in over 25% of his plate appearances….had a .125 OPS when there was one out in an inning….hit .251 at Springfield before his promotion.

Overview: Mejia had a reputation as a solid fielder, a reputation that didn’t get contradicted in the big leagues though his glove didn’t seem to be overly special.  He’d need to field like Ozzie Smith and then some to make his offensive numbers even somewhat palatable.  There would seem to be some hope, given how he did in the minors (especially at Memphis) but the gap between AAA and MLB is a big one and more than one player has fallen into the chasm.  It is a pretty small sample size and if Mejia is on your bench, perhaps as the 25th man, then you could get by.  When he’s making 19 appearances (including seven starts) in the most important part of the season, then you have issues.

Outlook: Mejia was a victim of needing 40-man roster space, being outrighted to Memphis last week.  He’s still in the organization, though, and I could see him becoming the next Greg Garcia, especially as Garcia gets enough experience to get priced out of his bench role.  Of course, there are also a lot of players like Mejia out there and given how Garcia is still there at the moment, it might be a long season in Memphis for Mejia.

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