CLEVELAND - Francisco Mejia is on his way to Cleveland.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Friday that they have called up the minor league catcher, who ranks as the No. 1 prospect in the team's organization. Friday marks the start of expanded September rosters for Major League Baseball, in which teams can now carry 34 players on their active rosters, as opposed to the previous limit of 25.
In addition to adding Mejia from Double-A Akron, the Indians also activated outfielder Abraham Almonte, outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall and pitcher Josh Tomlin from the 15-day disabled list, reliever Dan Otero from the paternity list and called up pitchers Kyle Crocket, Shawn Morimando and Adam Plutko from Triple-A Columbus and outfielder Greg Allen from Akron. The Indians also recalled pitcher Dylan Baker from Akron, before placing him on the 60-day disabled list.
The headliner of the group, however, is Mejia, who MLB.com lists as its No. 16 overall -- and top-ranked catcher -- prospect. Having spent the entire 2017 season in Akron, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound switch-hitter lays claim to a .297 batting average, along with 21 doubles, 2 triples, 14 home runs and 52 RBIs on the year.
Although he'll likely remain behind Roberto Perez and Yan Gomes on the Indians' catching depth chart, Mejia could provide an interesting option for Cleveland manager Terry Francona in pinch-hitting situations. And given both Perez and Gomes' inconsistencies at the plate, the following month could serve as an audition of sorts for the Indians' top-ranked prospect heading into the 2018 offseason.
The Indians will take the field at 1:10 p.m. on Friday for the first game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.
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