He’s 20 years old, but has already been compared to Mariano Rivera.
His name is Jenrry Mejia, one of the top prospects in the Mets’ organization. Mets fans should get to know the name, because he’s pitching as if he’ll be around for awhile.
The youngster out of the Dominican Republic was initially a part of the Mets’ Dominican league team back in 2007. He pitched well there, and was assigned to the minor league system, where he blew everyone out of the water.
In 2009, Mejia was assigned to single-A St. Lucie, where he blew his brilliant cut fastball by hitters so often that he was sent to double-A Binghamton shortly after. In St. Lucie, Mejia started nine games and finished with a 1.97 ERA. Yes, you read that correctly — a 19 year old pitcher had a 1.97 ERA in professional baseball.
However, when he was rushed to Binghamton, he was roughed up en route to a 4.47 ERA in ten starts. The talent that sped him through St. Lucie obviously caught up to him when he was forced to deal with much-improved hitters at the higher level.
With all that in mind, there were several question marks surrounding Mejia but also a glimpse of hope as Spring Training rolled around. He received an invite to the major league camp and has turned so many heads that manager Jerry Manuel has hinted at the idea of having Mejia on the opening day roster.
In his first appearance of the Spring, Mejia faced seven batters and retired each one. This was on Friday, when the Mets hosted the Marlins at Tradition Field. Marlins players, scouts, and several others noticed Mejia’s sneaky cut fastball and admitted that he will be a dangerous pitcher if he is able to keep it up.
Mejia is only 20 years old, so people shouldn’t get their hopes up too much. If, at first, he isn’t all that he has been hyped up to be, he will be soon enough. Even if he takes three years, he’ll only be 23 years old. For him to be performing as well as he has so far in camp is impressive in itself.
If he keeps it up, it will be one interesting opening day roster.