Like many of the Buffalo Bisons on Friday night, outfielder Melky Mesa struggled with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starter Dietrich Enns in a 2-1 loss. He went 0 for 4, one of the few down games for the outfielder this season.
Mesa, a 29-year-old Dominican, is hitting well above his career average since his call-up from New Hampshire on June 20. He’s batting .361 with five RBIs in 11 games with the Herd, an enormous spike from his .227 average with the Fisher Cats.
He’s batting fifth in the order and is playing nearly as well defensively as he has been at the plate. He looks like a player that’s been in Triple A all season.
“He’s been swinging the bat well,” Bisons manager Gary Allenson said. “He played outstanding center field. It’s kind of tough to get him out of that spot there. He’s shown what he can do.”
So what’s been working for Mesa?
“Everything,” Mesa said. “You never take anything for granted. I’m basically working more. At-bats, how to control the situation of the game and all that stuff. I just try to put a good at-bat together.”
He says his batting success is all about his timing, something he’s been focusing on recently.
“Timing is everything in baseball,” Mesa said.
Although it would appear that his timing was off against Enns, it took a bit of luck to keep Mesa hitless Friday. He lined a bullet right to RailRiders third baseman Dan Fiorito.
“What can I say about it?” Mesa said. “They are there. I just try and hit the ball hard.”
Mesa has split the past three seasons between the Triple-A and Double-A levels, first joining the Bisons for a short three-game stint in 2014. He sees every call-up as a chance to show that he doesn’t just deserve to be at the Triple-A level, but is worthy of a shot in the big leagues as well.
“Nobody wants to be here,” Mesa said. “I just want to be in the big leagues. Every time they give me the opportunity, I will do what I’m supposed to do – play the game in the right way.”
His last stint in the big leagues came in 2013 with the New York Yankees. He has only eight games of MLB experience. For now, he’ll have to settle for Triple-A and a Bisons team near playoff position. Luckily for Mesa, the Bisons have won nine of their 12 games since his call-up and eight of the 11 games he’s played.
“I just thank God the way things happen,” Mesa said. “It’s hard to control what happens. You just try to enjoy the moment.”