Eliezer Mesa Scouting Report (2010)
Throughout much of the 2010 season, Eliezer Mesa sat near the top of the “Sally” batting average leaderboard. However, his season which started with a bang ended with a fizzle leaving him with a final line of .302/.357/.420 as a 21-year old. Bolstered by a home split of .352/.414/.506 in a very friendly park, Mesa struggled mightily away from home posting below league average numbers. And while Mesa’s home numbers make him seem like a power threat, make no mistake that he’s a slasher with some speed and that’s where his true value lies.
Physical Projection: Listed at 5’11”, 180 lbs., I felt his listed weight was a little generous. With a slight build, he’s unlikely to gain much in terms of size and added bulk really would not suit his all around game. As an athlete, he has quickness, but lacks the explosion to really stand out and fully take advantage of his speed. Mesa sometimes lacks body control and it causes him to present as a bit “sloppy” at times, both at the plate, and in the field.
Offense: In game action, my first impression of Mesa involved his depositing an 89 MPH fastball on the inner half over the left field fence for a “bomba”. The scorched line drive left me combing through my phone for any information I could find on him. In subsequent at bats, it became obvious that the mistake pitch Mesa took advantage of was the exception, not the norm as he proceeded to hit a number of dribblers and seemed overmatched by below average breaking balls.
Like so many Dominican players, Mesa showed flashes of a prospect who could carve a path for himself, but lacked the refinement and polish of American players his age. This was most apparent in his swing mechanics as he frequently lunged at low pitches and relied almost solely on his hands. Mesa has the ability to work the gaps, but needs to let the ball travel deeper into the strike zone and realize that if he feels himself drifting forward, that it’s probably a ball and to just keep the bat on his shoulder.
Defense: Mesa began the year in centerfield, but shifted to left upon Delta Cleary‘s return to the Tourists. Mesa is quick, but like other aspects of his game, his lack of refinement led to iffy routes in the outfield. I also wasn’t particularly impressed with his arm, but it will play well enough in left or center.
A big part of Mesa’s value is tied to his ability to profile as an outfielder who can play multiple spots. If he is relegated to left field, he instantly becomes little more than organizational fodder.
Speed: With 29 stolen bases in 40 attempts, Mesa’s stolen base percentage fell a bit short of what one would expect with his speed. I was able to pull multiple 4.15ish home-to-first times off of video leaving him a 65 runner which is well above average. Once again, refinement on the basepaths is needed to maximize his speed.
In seeing Mesa play at least a half dozen times, his upside seems to be that of a versatile 4th outfielder/pinch runner. While this isn’t a particularly exciting outcome, it’s important to note these types of players sometimes command seven figure salaries and Mesa will be under control for multiple years at the league minimum. Of course this is dependent on his ability to polish the rough edges and learn to lay off substandard breaking pitches. If Mesa is unable to do this, I’d venture to predict he will be a player who hangs around in double-A for awhile prior to making a quiet exit from professional baseball.
23 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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