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Posted Jul 8, 2012, 8:45 am
Two games into his professional career, ex-Arizona Wildcat Alex Mejia came through for the Batavia (N.Y.) Muckdogs in a big way Saturday night, giving local fans an idea why the St. Louis Cardinals selected the Pac-12 Player of the Year in the fourth round of June's amateur draft.
Mejia put the minor-league Muckdogs on the board in the third inning against the Lowell (Mass.) Spinners with an RBI double. It was Mejia first professional hit.
The former El Camino Real High School (Sylmar, Calif.) All-City shortstop also flashed some leather that proved solid defensively.
Mejia helped lead the Wildcats to a sweep of the 2012 College World Series championship. He signed with the Cardinals just a week ago at the end of his junior year in college to help his family out financially. He received a $250,000 bonus.
The newest Muckdog comes from a strong baseball family (his father was an All-American at Pepperdine, his sisters play college softball and his cousin is with the Washington National's AAA farm team).
The 21-year-old Californian put up impressive numbers at Arizona, hitting .357 in 2012 and .335 in 2011.
ESPN featured Mejia in a recent article, and the shortstop received some high praise:
"His passion to succeed, his intangibles, his knowledge of the game ... Alex has it all," (UA Coach Andy) Lopez said. "I wouldn't trade him for anyone."
There are some analysts who believe Mejia is the best shortstop in all of college baseball. The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year — and Defensive Player of the Year — is hitting .361 and boasts a fielding percentage of .959.
The Muckdogs, a Class A short season affiliate of the big-league Cardinals, wove a 3-0 victory over the Spinners (a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) in front of 667 fans.
Read more at TheBatavian.com: Muckdog's new shortstop collects first hit in Batavia's 3-0 win
A digital media pioneer, Howard Owens is the publisher of TheBatavian.com, Batavia, N.Y.,‘s online-only news site.