The Cleveland Indians made a trade today, albeit one far from blockbuster status. The Mark Mathias trade from the Cleveland Indians to the Milwaukee Brewers is now complete. In exchange, the Indians will receive catcher Andres Melendez, another career minor leaguer to this point. James Rapien of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland broke the news during the early afternoon on Wednesday.
Mark Mathias Trade Return: Andres Melendez
Melendez, an 18-year old from Venezuela, signed with the Brewers as an undrafted free agent back in 2017. He played just three games for Milwaukee’s Arizona League team in 2018 before appearing in 41 games of Dominican Summer League ball. Melendez hit for a .290 average in the Dominican Summer League. 2019 saw a little bit of progress for Melendez in terms of playing time, as he played in 36 games for the Brewers “Gold” team in the Arizona League.
Behind the plate, Melendez is a solid defensive catcher. He threw out 15 of 50 would-be base-stealers, good for a 30% caught-stealing percentage. You’d be hard-pressed to find a scouting report on Andres, however. Neither Baseball America nor Perfect Game offers anything in that regard.
Soon-to-be Big Leaguer?
Mathias has been around a little longer than Melendez. He’s 25 years of age and was selected in the third round of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft. The utility infielder spent all of 2019 with the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, appearing in 115 games. He’s an average to below-average prospect, slated as the Indians’ 45th-best prospect last year via prospect1500.com.
Mathias swung a decent bat, however. He posted a .269/.355/.442 slash line in 2019 and was decent in the field. He seems to be a natural second baseman, possessing a flawless fielding percentage at that position. However, when moved to shortstop, his fielding percentage drops to .889. MiLB.com named him an organizational All-Star in 2016 and 2018.
The Indians don’t necessarily need Melendez by any stretch. Highly-touted prospect Bo Naylor is just 19-years old. In addition, he is a top-10 prospect within their organization. Still, some depth at that position will help, especially after the Francisco Mejia trade in 2018.
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