Victor Mesa Jr. has been a nice surprise for the Marlins during the second half of the Gulf Coast League season.
The one thing the Miami Marlins front office wants to see is their top minor league prospects finishing their seasons strong. As Derek Jeter, Michael Hill and Gary Dembo watch Victor Mesa, Jr, J.J. Bleday and others save their best for last, it’s heartwarming to know just a year ago this time the franchise was under intense scrutiny from Major League Baseball fans for having dissected a popular lineup and traded away top stars in the process.
Now, aside from sending Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers (in return for four potential starters next season) can we really say the Marlins lost in any deal that was consummated last year? And do we think the Marlins were cheated in the trades that were completed prior to the 2019 season and at this year’s MLB Deadline?
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"“Victor Mesa Jr. is putting himself in position to finish his first professional baseball season in the Miami Marlins organization on a high note,” writes Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald.“Mesa, the 17-year-old Cuban outfielder and younger brother of Victor Victor Mesa (in Double A Jacksonville with the Marlins), is riding another strong offensive stretch with the Marlins’ Gulf Coast League affiliate. He enters Monday with hits in eight of his past 10 games and has a .436 batting average (17 for 39) with eight RBI, eight runs scored and three stolen bases in that timeframe.”"
It was the Mesa brothers who were the biggest news of the offseason last year as the Marlins scored both outfielders in the international pool. Both figure to be part of the organization for years and help to strengthen the ties between the ball club and the Latino community in South Florida.
"“Overall, it has been a productive first season for Mesa, the Marlins’ No. 28 overall prospect according to MLBPipeline who has typically batted leadoff or second for the Marlins’ rookie league affiliate,” McPherson added. “Heading into Monday, he leads the GCL with 49 hits, and his 37 runs scored are tied for the league lead. Mesa has recorded multiple hits in 16 of his 43 games this season.”"
Miami could certainly use that kind of production at the top of the order. In order to move up to Clinton or Jupiter next season, Mesa will need to continue to hit for average and work on his defense. He is best as a corner outfielder, which means he will all need to work on his speed in the gaps. He is still young and developing as a teenager, so the learning curve may be a bit greater than his brother who was once considered the top prospect in the Marlins organization.
The organization should take their time with him, as McPherson added. He will be brought along at a slow pace, not to force him to adjust his body to tougher pitching when it may not be mature enough to handle it yet.