Yankees Prospect Profile: OF Melky Mesa

Background

Melquisedec or Melky Mesa, 24, is a right handed hitting outfielder listed at 6-1 and 165-pounds. He was born in Bajos de Haina in the Dominican Republic and was signed by the Yankees on July 2, 2003.

Pro Career

Mesa started his pro career in the Dominican Summer League in 2004. In his first year he hit just .146 with 67 strikeouts in 144 at bats. In 2005 he upped his average to .304 in just 23 at bats.

He was finally brought state side as a 19-year-old in 2006 where he started with the Gulf Coast League Yankees. In 40 games there he hit .207 with a .611 OPS and 45 strikeouts in 145 at bats. He stayed in the GCL in 2007 and only made marginal improvements as he hit .235 with a .679 OPS and 55 strikeouts over 153 at bats.

He finally broke out of the GCL in 2008, but still couldn’t make it to a full season league as he was assigned to the Short Season-A Staten Island Yankees. His numbers kept improving though. His average dropped to .221, but his OPS was .719 as his power potential really started showing up.

2009 was his first with a full season team as he was assigned to the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs. There he played in 133 games, hit .225, and had a .731 OPS. Minor improvements, but yet again his numbers increased.

2010 was an important year for Mesa. He always had great tools, but as a 23-year-old he needed to prove that he could get some results as well. He was assigned to High-A Tampa and he did put together a season that was good enough to finally land him on some prospect rankings. Over 121 games he hit .260 with a .813 OPS.

Scouting Report

Mesa has always had amazing tools. The problem is that he is potentially missing the most important one for a hitter – the ability to make contact and recognize pitches. He has been improving with this slowly over the years though. His .260 batting average last year shows that he is improving his ability to make contact, but he still has improvements to be made here. As for his ability to read pitches, this is coming along even better as evidenced by his 51 free passes in 2009 and 44 in 2010. Both are great numbers for a player who used to swing at everything as recently as 2008.

Mesa’s other tools are outstanding. He hits for power, has great speed, and is an amazing defender.

If Melky reaches his potential then he can easily be a major leaguer who hits 20-30 home runs or more. He also is very fast. He stole 31 bases last year which is something that he should be able to do every year.

A great part of Mesa’s game is his defense. He has a good first step and range in the outfield and should have no problem sticking in center field. If need be though he could easily switch to right field as he hits for power and has one of the best arms in the Yankees entire organization.

2011 Outlook

Melky’s tools have never been questioned, but it’s been the results that weren’t there until recently. He made big strides in 2010, but he needs to continue that in 2011. The jump from High-A to Double-A is a big one though. He needs to make it though as he’s already 24-years-old and is already on the Yankees 40-man roster. That puts pressure on him and if he fails in 2011 he would lose a lot of value as a prospect and turn into a Greg Golson type where he is still useful, but would be more of a Quadruple-A type of player.

He’ll likely start the season in Double-A. If he really puts things together he could be moved up to Triple-A midseason with the possibility of fulfilling Golson’s role late in the year. He would have to really outplay Golson though as the Yankees have no reason to rush him to the majors with both on the 40-man roster.

Stats

Year Age Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2006 19 Rk 40 145 20 30 7 2 3 22 3 3 11 45 .207 .266 .345 .611
2007 20 Rk 49 153 27 36 10 2 3 13 5 3 9 55 .235 .293 .386 .679
2008 21 A- 46 122 19 27 5 2 7 23 4 1 4 38 .221 .252 .467 .719
2009 22 A 133 497 76 112 24 7 20 74 18 6 51 168 .225 .309 .423 .731
2010 23 A+ 121 446 81 116 21 9 19 74 31 9 44 129 .260 .338 .475 .813
5 Seasons 389 1363 223 321 67 22 52 206 61 22 119 435 .236 .307 .431 .739
Rk (2 seasons) 89 298 47 66 17 4 6 35 8 6 20 100 .221 .280 .366 .646
A (1 season) 133 497 76 112 24 7 20 74 18 6 51 168 .225 .309 .423 .731
A- (1 season) 46 122 19 27 5 2 7 23 4 1 4 38 .221 .252 .467 .719
A+ (1 season) 121 446 81 116 21 9 19 74 31 9 44 129 .260 .338 .475 .813
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2011.
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