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The St. Louis Cardinals’ latest international signing has a lot of the same traits as Javier Baez. Will potential become reality?
Jonathan Mejia ranks No. 14 on MLB.com’s top international prospects list. He was one of the top prospects in this year’s class, and the Cardinals nabbed him before any other teams could.
MLB.com described Mejia as an infielder who ‘patterns his game after Javier Baez.’ That’s high praise for a teenager who has yet to appear in a game for the organization. FanSided’s Robert Murray gave his take on Mejia’s ranking and significance within the Cardinals system.
“Mejia, 16, has been expected to sign one of the top international contracts in the 2021-2022 class and has long been rumored to be a Cardinals target. He was rated by Sanchez as the No. 14 prospect on MLB Pipelines Top 50 international prospect and the 6-foot, 165 pound shortstop immediately slides in as one of the team’s most intriguing prospects, though he is at least a few seasons – if not more – from being major-league ready. He’s raw, but has plenty of tools to work with.”
Will Jonathan Mejia become the next Javier Baez?
Those are big shoes to fill. Baez never played for the Cardinals’ organization, but he did just sign a lucrative six-year, $160 million contract with the Detroit Tigers. That’s not just life-changing money for Baez, but also his kids and perhaps someday his grandchildren.
Mejia already shows impressive attributes that make him one of the more intriguing prospects in this class. He’s advanced beyond his age, including with plate coverage, power and bat speed.
Mejia is expected to stay at shortstop for now, but could move over to third base in the future if he struggles in the field.