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Francisco Mejia has struggled at third base.

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Cleveland Indians top prospect Francisco Mejia is being tried out at third base this fall, and the results haven’t been great.

Francisco Mejia at Fall Stars Game
Aaron Whelan

Francisco Mejia is a prized prospect in the Cleveland Indians system, with an excellent bat that works all fields, and an absolute cannon of an arm. The natural catcher is getting run purely at third base this Fall, and the results have been, well, underwhelming.

He is credited with just two errors in his six games at third thus far, but could have easily been saddled with a couple more. I have seen a third of his games here in Arizona, and one of his credited errors along with another that easily could have been.

The one that did not go against him was a sharp grounder just to his glove side that he plain whiffed on but, since it was a well hit ball, it went as a hit. The other was a chopper his way that he sat back on and let it eat him up. He regularly plays a good two steps deeper than a traditional third baseman would, likely due to his lack of comfort at the position.

Even watching him take infield between innings and before games you can see his lack of comfort. His world class arm sends the ball flying high over the first baseman or forcing him to pick it in the dirt as often as Mejia throws a strike across the diamond.

Talking with people close to the Desert Dogs this fall, there is a clear sentiment that Mejia still has work to do if he is to stay at the position.

The positive is that Mejia only just turned 22 a week ago and has already shown enough with the bat to find himself in the big leagues at the end of the season. He is a solid defensive catcher, but the Indians want to take full advantage of the bat, hence the experiment at third base.

From what I have seen, the experiment should end by Spring Training and let him stick behind the plate because he does not seem to be getting any more comfortable at the hot corner. Right field would be a more interesting experiment, but he lacks the speed to cover ground to ever flirt with being an average fielder, but the arm would be really fun to see out there.

In the end, Mejia will be a very good big league hitter wherever he plays, but the Indians have a real decision in front of them, and one that should be decided on soon as Mejia has the potential to help a club that has legitimate World Series aspirations in 2018.