Report: C Francisco Mejia Has Minor League Deal With Los Angeles Angels

Francisco Mejia of the Tampa Bay Rays in action in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 16, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Dominican catcher Francisco Mejia signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday including an invitation to spring training camp, Miriam Luz, a reporter in the Dominican Republic posted Friday. 

Mejia, 28, was born in Bani, Dominican Republic, and has played seven seasons in Major League Baseball during his professional career. 

Last season, Mejia split his time between Triple-A Durham and the Tampa Bay Rays. Mejia started the season with the Rays and played in 50 games, batting .227 with 34 hits, 11 doubles, five home runs, 19 RBi, six walks, 38 strikeouts and a .658 OPS before he was placed on the 10-day injured list with an MCL sprain in his left knee on July 21.

Mejia caught 381 innings defensively during the 2023 regular season with the Rays, splitting time with starting catcher Christian Bethancourt. He had 375 putouts, 400 chances, 19 assists, six errors, threw out four base runners and allowed 38 stolen bases, with a fielding percentage at .985. 

Mejia was activated from the 10-day injured list on August 22 and was designated for assignment on the same day by the Rays organization. The Rays sent Mejia outright to Triple-A Durham on August 28 and was activated on September 8 with the Durham Bulls and spent the rest of the 2023 season at the Triple-A level. 

Mejia played in 20 games with Triple-A Durham, hitting .326 in 92 plate appearances with 28 hits, three doubles, one triple, six home runs, 19 RBI, four walks, and 21 strikeouts prior to him electing free agency on October 5. 

In March, Mejia played in the 2023 World Baseball Classic with the Dominican Republic in Pool D in Miami at loanDepot Park. The Dominican Republic went 2-2 during the 2023 WBC and was eliminated by Puerto Rico on the last day of pool play. Mejia appeared in three games and posted a .143 average in seven at-bats, scoring one run, recording one hit, one RBI, one walk, and two strikeouts. 

In 2022, Mejia played 93 games with the Rays hitting .242 in 93 games with 70 hits, 22 doubles, six home runs, 31 RBI, seven walks, 65 strikeouts, and a .645 OPS. Mejia battled injuries during the 2022 season and was placed on the 10-day injured list on July 26 with a right shoulder impingement. 

Mejia made his MLB debut on Sept. 1, 2017, with Cleveland and has played seven seasons at the Major League level with Cleveland in 2017-18, the San Diego Padres from 2018-20 and the Rays from 2021-23 during his professional career. 

In seven MLB seasons, Mejia has played in 355 games with a lifetime average of .239 in 1,098 plate appearances, with 244 hits, 62 doubles, five triples, 29 home runs, 118 RBI, 50 walks, 239 strikeouts, and a .678 OPS. 

Mejia will compete with Matt Thaiss for the backup catcher role during spring training in order to earn a spot on the Angels opening day roster. 

The Angels will open up spring training against the Los Angeles Dodgers at home at Tempe Diablo Stadium at 3 p.m. EST on February 24.

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