At 28 years old, baseball players who have never cracked a Major League Baseball roster are no longer considered “prospects”, but on Saturday, the Atlanta Braves made an interesting roster move with the release of first baseman Ernesto Mejia.
#Braves have released Ernesto Mejia so he can play in Japan with the Seibu Lions. Mejia will report to Japan next week.
— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) April 26, 2014
Multiple outlets are reporting (as Kevin McAlpin does above) that Mejia is bound for Japan to become a member of the Seibu Lions, and this is a nice move for the career minor leaguer. Mejia is a very, very good hitter who has posted three consecutive minor league seasons with 24 or more home runs and a slugging percentage of at least .497, and frankly, he could probably help a handful of Major League teams.
Still, the long-time farmhand plays a position that has little to no use for the Braves, and frankly, he’s a terrible defender there, which limits his value elsewhere. In Japan, Mejia would likely be in line for a full-time job, and it’s possible that he can flourish there and be able to make a nice living for an extended amount of time. Congratulations to him on the move, but the Braves likely won’t be bothered by this at the Major League level.