Mejia solid in second D.R. start

Jenrry Mejia was solid in three innings, allowing two hits, one walk and four strikeouts, Friday night for the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Republic, in his second winter-ball start. The Mets' top pitching prospect got ahead early in counts and mixed his fastball, which topped out at 96 mph, with his curveball and changeup.

Jenrry Mejia

Relief Pitcher
New York Mets


Barring a change of course, the Mets plan to have Mejia pitch in Triple-A in 2011, rather than plug a major league need at the expense of his development.

Longtime Mets minor league instructor Guy Conti, who is serving as the pitching coach for Licey, thought highly of the Mets prospect’s second winter-league start.

“I was very, very impressed with what he did tonight. He showed a major league curveball, a major league fastball and was poised,” said Conti outside the team’s clubhouse, which was closed to the media following a string of bad play by Licey. “I was very, very pleased with him. He’s made tremendous progress. I was really pleased with him. I’m impressed with Jenrry.”

Mejia struck out three batters in the first inning while working around a walk and a hit that was stretched into a double. He then started the second inning by inducing the first two hitters into groundouts to second base, but the next hitter reached on an error. He ended the inning by getting the next hitter to ground out to short.

Mejia's third and final inning of the night started with his second strikeout of Texas’ Julio Borbon.

Mejia was 0-4 with an 4.62 ERA and appeared in 33 games, including three starts, for the New York Mets in his first season.

The team sent him to the minors so that he could be stretched out as a starter. He made nine starts for the Mets’ Gulf Coast affiliate, St. Lucie, Binghamton and Buffalo.

The 20 year-old Dominican was shut down in September due to a strained rhomboid muscle in his right shoulder.