Tampa Bay Rays: 5 Players Deserving of an Extension
By Austin Hart
4. C Francisco Mejia
The 26-year old catcher that came over from the San Diego Padres in the Blake Snell trade has been a real bright spot at the plate for the Rays. Francisco Mejia has been hitting a cool .269 this year, really putting together some better plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills throughout the season. In a spot where the Rays haven't been known for a whole lot of offensive production, Mejia has shown he has the potential to take over a full-time catching role with the squad. His average is the highest of his career as he looks to get even better day by day.
Mike Zunino's season-ending injury provided a lot of extra playing time for Mejia, who's seemingly taken advantage by showing what he can do offensviely, especially in clutch situations. It always just seems that if Mejia is coming up to hit in a spot where you need some runs, he's there to come through and you love to have with that type of ice in his veins. Even last night, Mejia shot a 3-run double down the 1st base line off of Aroldis Chapman in the 10th inning, giving the Rays a cushion against a divison rival with 2 outs. The Josh Donaldson grand slam in the last half of the 10th would walk the Yankees off, but nonetheless Mejia provided the team with an incredible opportunity to sweep the Yankees in New York with that one swing.
I have faith in the Rays when they make trades that seem completely wild at first glance. It was tough to see Blake Snell have to leave the team, but I truly think the return they got might be absolutely worth it. I see all the potential in Francisco Mejia to be an everyday backstop for this team and with Mike Zunino's contract coming to an end after this year, I see this as the perfect time to lock him in. His abilities on both sides of the ball continue to improve and finding a catcher with as much potential as him is hard to come by.