What kind of impact will outfield prospect Victor Victor Mesa have on the Marlins when he finally arrives in Miami?
Mesa didn’t fare too well coming out of the gate in the minors. There was rust and I need to adjust. Playing in America was quite different than what he was accustomed to. After he was able to gain his bearings, the front office started to see the tools the youngster was known for before becoming a member of the organization.
Now, at the AA level in Jacksonville, it is mesa who could be the biggest surprise of the team’s minor-league system this coming season.
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The 13th ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, it’s almost the forgotten man given what the Marlins front office has done in the past year to secure more outfield prospects and to add more power up the middle. There is no timetable on when Mesa should arrive in Miami, but it’s a good bet he will get a long look at the end of the season when teams expand their regular-season rosters.
"“The top-rated international free agent in 2018, Mesa struggled in his first minor league season after signing with the Miami Marlins for $5 million. Splitting between High-A and Double-A, the 23-year-old Cuban outfielder hit just .235/.274/.263 with seven doubles, three triples, and no home runs in 116 games,” Wells Dusenbury of Sun-Sentinel.com writes.“Coming off an almost 22-month layoff from competitive game action and the significant jump between the level of play in Cuba and America, there was going to be an adjustment period for Mesa. A top-100 prospect to begin 2019, Mesa struggled adapting to the high-velocity arms, leading to a rough debut season. Taking part in the Marlins hitters’ camp in Jupiter on Tuesday, Mesa believes that experience should help moving forward.”"
There are other outfield prospects who figure to be in Miami ahead of him, but when he does “arrive” it could be something special. He needs to find a more consistent stroke at the plate and when he does get on base, he needs to show his speed on the base pads to score runs. The Marlins were one of the worst teams in runs scored last season and a lack of power in the lineup meant 146 balls left the yard from Miami hitters.
Mesa wasn’t signed to swing for the fences, but he was brought in to produce runs and play solid defense, potentially in centerfield. He also stole 18 of 20 bases, which is something the Marlins will look to do more of this season on the Major League level. The consistency of thieving bases begins as soon as players are assigned to one of the Marlins four tiers of their feeder system.
Now, it’s time to take what he learned being away from the game and apply it in grander fashion this coming season.
"“I think [2020 is] going to be a little bit different,” Mesa said through a translator. “I think last year was more of an adapting phase to baseball here in the U.S.“Last year, I played 130 games and I got to learn more about the game of baseball here and the coaches, the players and minor league baseball.”"