Mejia with the New York Mets
|New York Mets – No. 58|
October 11, 1989 |
Azua, Dominican Republic
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|April 7, 2010 for the New York Mets|
(through July 4, 2014)
|Earned run average||4.05|
Jenrry Manuel Mejía (born October 11, 1989) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball. He signed with the Mets as an international free agent on April 4, 2007. Mejia is known for his high energy and charisma while pitching and striking batters out.
Growing up, Mejía lived with his parents and younger brother in a neighborhood called Herrera, near Santo Domingo's former airport of the same name. Starting at age 11, he made his living by shining shoes, earning about 300 pesos a day. He did not play baseball until he was 15 years old, only becoming interested in the sport once he realized that players were able to earn a large signing bonus. He drew some interest from the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, but was not seen at that time as a top talent because he was small and slight of build. He ultimately signed with the Mets for $16,500.
In 2007, Mejía played for the DSL Mets. He recorded a 2–3 record with a 2.47 ERA 14 games (7 starts). The next year Mejía pitched for the GCL Mets and the Brooklyn Cyclones. His combined statistics were a 5–2 record, with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts.
Mejía started the 2009 season pitching for the Single-A St. Lucie Mets. He was 4–1 with a 1.97 ERA. Then, he and Bradley Holt were both promoted to Double-A Binghamton. There he posted a 0–4 record with a 4.38 ERA in 6 starts as of August 18. He also missed seven weeks with a strained middle finger on his pitching hand. Because of his success in the 2009 season, he has been named the 48th best prospect in the major leagues in the MLB.com Midseason Top 50 Prospect list. After the 2009 season, the Mets assigned him to the Surprise Rafters of the Arizona Fall League. In February 2010, Mejía was ranked as the 56th best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America.
Mejía made the Mets 2010 opening day roster as a relief pitcher, making him the youngest Met to make an opening day roster since Dwight Gooden. He made his major league debut on April 7, 2010. On June 29, 2010 Mejia was sent back down to Double-A Binghamton to become a starter and Bobby Parnell took his spot in the Mets bullpen. On September 4, 2010, Mejia made his first major league start for the Mets at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Mike Nickeas, who caught Mejia, also made his debut in the majors on the same day.
After starting for the Mets' Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo on April 29, 2011, Mejia left the game after four innings due to elbow discomfort. He was diagnosed a few days later with a complete tear of his medial collateral ligament and required surgery.
Mejia was activated from the 60-day disabled list on July 26, 2013, and started the first game of a day-night doubleheader against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. He pitched 7 scoreless innings, giving up 7 hits, striking out 7, and walking none en route to his first win of the season.
In 2014, Mejia won the Mets' fifth starter role out of Spring Training beating out Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan. Mejia's first start and win came on April 5th at Citi Field against the Cincinnati Reds in which he went 6 innings striking out 8 and allowing 4 hits, 1 run, and 5 walks. After struggling as a starter, Mejia was moved into the bullpen. The Mets began using Mejia as the closer, after the release of former closer Kyle Farnsworth. On May 25, Mejia played a key role in a double header against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the first game, Mejia gave up a run off a fielder's choice to Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings in the top of the 9th inning. The Mets would go on to lose the first game 2-1. However in the second game, Mejia again pitched the 9th inning, this time earning his 3rd save of the season in a 4-2 Mets victory.
- Costa, Brian. "Mets pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia leaves shoe shining days behind for good", The Star-Ledger (New Jersey), March 14, 2010.
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