Atlanta Braves first baseman Ernesto Mejia (59) hits a home run off New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (not pictured) in spring training action at Tradition Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
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.
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.