When the Miami Marlins signed 2018’s number one international prospect Victor Victor Mesa for $5.25 million, they were expecting him to become one of the big building blocks of their future. Unfortunately, the Cuban outfielder has never come close to living up to the hype and his time with the Marlins organization may have just reached its end without him even tasting the major leagues.
On Monday, Francys Romero of beisbolfr reported that Mesa abandoned the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, which is the Marlins AAA affiliate. According to Romero, Victor Victor had “disagreements with the coaches and he’s not expected to return.” I was able to confirm that report and can add Mesa has been away from the team since June 20, when they began a road series against the Gwinnett Stripers. His last appearance with Jacksonville came on June 16.
Per Yordano Carmona of Pelota Cubana, Mesa did travel with the team to Gwinnett, but hours after arriving, he left in another vehicle and went back to Jacksonville. He was then placed on the restricted list.
Turning 27 years old later this month, Mesa had been getting limited playing time this season (he also spent more than a month on the injured list). With Jacksonville and Double-A Pensacola combined, he had only 40 plate appearances and a .189/.250/.270 slash line (29 wRC+). His minor league career as a whole isn’t much better. Although a great defensive outfielder and efficient base-stealer with consistent contact skills, the quality of his contact has been poor since arriving to the U.S. (low exit velocities). His MiLB career slash line in 290 games is .233/.289/.289 with only eight home runs and 92 RBIs.
Victor Victor was briefly Double-A teammates with his younger brother, outfielder Victor Mesa Jr., who came with him to the Marlins in a package deal and received a $1 million bonus. Victor Jr.’s development has been far more encouraging and the 21-year-old is now considered one of Miami’s best hitting prospects.
Signing the Mesa brothers was the first big splash that the Marlins made in the international market under Bruce Sherman’s ownership. They’ve had more success since then, most notably acquiring rising star Eury Pérez (Dominican Republic). They also inked infielder José Salas out of Venezuela and he became a key piece of the Luis Arráez trade package.
It’s unclear whether Victor Victor Mesa will continue his playing career once the Marlins eventually release him.