Scouting Yankees Prospect #13: Mark Melancon

Expected to be an early round pick last June, University of Arizona closer Mark Melancon slipped down to the Yankees in the 9th round due to injury concerns. After making his debut in Staten Island and receiving more work in the Hawaiian Winter League, the closer with nasty stuff needed Tommy John surgery this offseason. Here's a scouting report on Mark Melancon.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Mark Melancon
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: March 25, 1985
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Coming off a sophomore campaign at the University of Arizona where he went 4-3 with eleven saves and a 2.58 ERA in 34 appearances, Melancon was expected to be one of the first college closers drafted in 2006.

And when he began his junior year going 3-3 with four saves and 2.97 ERA in the competitive Pac-10 Conference, it appeared to be all but a lock until he went down in mid-season with an elbow injury.

"To start off the year, in college, I think I got hurt in April, but before that it went really well," Melancon said of his final year in college. "I felt great and then a couple of weeks, I started to feel an injury in my elbow. That kept me out the rest of the season from April on. Fortunately, I still got drafted and came to a great team like the Yankees.'

"I definitely think I would have gone in the first or second round [of the draft] if not for the injury," he continued, "very easily. But I'll say I'm completely satisfied with everything that has happened. The Lord has blessed me with my situation."

He didn't officially sign with the Yankees until August 9th, two months after being selected - though the sticky point of the negotiations were mostly about where he would rehab - and made his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees on August 24th with just two weeks left in the NY-Penn League season.

Melancon was touched for two earned runs in his first appearance but posted a 1.35 ERA in his final six regular season games, showing more than enough potential to get the Yankees excited.

"Melancon has a power fastball, a power curveball, and a power changeup," said Yankees Pitching Coordinator Nardi Contreras. "He's got three pitches and he's going to get people out and he can throw all three pitches for strikes. He's got the ability to be a very nice closer in the near future."

The Yankees sent him to the Hawaiian Winter League to get some more work in but his elbow pain started to flare up almost immediately. He struggled in his only four appearances with the West Oahu CaneFires before going to see Dr. Andrews.

"Everybody told me that there's more likelihood that you will have to have it," Melancon said of Tommy John surgery. "There was a very small chance that I was never going to have to have it considering the injury that had happened. I guess I knew that I most likely would have to have it at some point, I just didn't think it would be this soon."

The early prognosis is he will miss the entire 2007 season rehabbing his way back from the surgery and Melancon, whose makeup is off the charts, has taken everything in stride.

"Well obviously nobody is happy to hear they're going to be out for 10-16 months," said the 21-year old. "That's not good news by any means. But the positive side is, I'm happy there is a fix to the problem and we had the best doctor in the country do it, and everything went well. The ball's kind of in my court now. I've got to work harder and just do everything possible to get healthy again."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2006

Staten Island

0-1

2

7.2

9

2

8

3.52



Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball. Melancon has both a four-seam and a two-seam fastball. His four-seamer ranges 92-94 MPH with good movement and he can touch 96 MPH at times. He also throws a power sinking two-seamer in the 90-93 MPH range with good life to it. He also has excellent command of his fastball, a pitch he labels his best out of his repertoire.

Other Pitches. Aside from his power fastball, what makes Melancon so special is his power curveball. He throws his curveball straight over the top with great sinking action. He has impeccable command of his breaking ball, able to bury it in the dirt to get swinging strikes or sweep it over the plate for a called strike. He compliments his arsenal with a very good changeup, an advanced pitch considering he was a college closer. It also has great life to it with good command.

Pitching. Melancon's game is all about the power. He mixes in three power pitches and he throws all of his pitches over the top which can be very deceiving on opposing batters as they have no idea what pitch is coming. The fact he has plus command of all three pitches, able to throw them in any count, makes him even more devastating. But while his stuff is very special, it is his mental makeup that has the Yankees really excited. He's the ideal teammate and with his bulldog mentality, he thrives in pressure situations and seems born to play in New York.

Projection. Melancon has the stuff, command, and makeup to be an elite closer at the big league level. His power curveball has many scouts comparing it to Frankie Rodriguez of the Angels and the Yankees believe his plus changeup could make him even more successful. Now rehabbing his way back from Tommy John surgery, the Yankees will want him to get as many innings in as possible once he returns so don't be surprised if he pitches in a setup role at the minor league level when he's finally healthy.

ETA. 2009. Melancon appeared to be on the fast-track before his surgery. Even though he is currently ahead of schedule in his rehab, it seems highly unlikely he will pitch in an official game next season. If all goes well he could make an appearance or two in Instructs next season and the early outlook has him breaking the 2008 season with the Tampa Yankees and he might need just one full minor league season before he's ready for the big leagues.

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n \r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Mark Melancon
\r\nPosition: Starting Pitcher
\r\nDOB: March 25, 1985
\r\nHeight: 6'2\"
\r\nWeight: 215
\r\nBats: Right
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\nComing off a sophomore campaign at the University of Arizona where he went 4-3 with eleven saves and a 2.58 ERA in 34 appearances, Melancon was expected to be one of the first college closers drafted in 2006.
\r\n
\r\nAnd when he began his junior year going 3-3 with four saves and 2.97 ERA in the competitive Pac-10 Conference, it appeared to be all but a lock until he went down in mid-season with an elbow injury.
\r\n
\r\n\"To start off the year, in college, I think I got hurt in April, but before that it went really well,\" Melancon said of his final year in college. \"I felt great and then a couple of weeks, I started to feel an injury in my elbow. That kept me out the rest of the season from April on. Fortunately, I still got drafted and came to a great team like the Yankees.'
\r\n
\r\n\"I definitely think I would have gone in the first or second round [of the draft] if not for the injury,\" he continued, \"very easily. But I'll say I'm completely satisfied with everything that has happened. The Lord has blessed me with my situation.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe didn't officially sign with the Yankees until August 9th, two months after being selected - though the sticky point of the negotiations were mostly about where he would rehab - and made his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees on August 24th with just two weeks left in the NY-Penn League season.
\r\n
\r\nMelancon was touched for two earned runs in his first appearance but posted a 1.35 ERA in his final six regular season games, showing more than enough potential to get the Yankees excited.
\r\n
\r\n\"Melancon has a power fastball, a power curveball, and a power changeup,\" said Yankees Pitching Coordinator Nardi Contreras. \"He's got three pitches and he's going to get people out and he can throw all three pitches for strikes. He's got the ability to be a very nice closer in the near future.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe Yankees sent him to the Hawaiian Winter League to get some more work in but his elbow pain started to flare up almost immediately. He struggled in his only four appearances with the West Oahu CaneFires before going to see Dr. Andrews.
\r\n
\r\n\"Everybody told me that there's more likelihood that you will have to have it,\" Melancon said of Tommy John surgery. \"There was a very small chance that I was never going to have to have it considering the injury that had happened. I guess I knew that I most likely would have to have it at some point, I just didn't think it would be this soon.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe early prognosis is he will miss the entire 2007 season rehabbing his way back from the surgery and Melancon, whose makeup is off the charts, has taken everything in stride.
\r\n
\r\n\"Well obviously nobody is happy to hear they're going to be out for 10-16 months,\" said the 21-year old. \"That's not good news by any means. But the positive side is, I'm happy there is a fix to the problem and we had the best doctor in the country do it, and everything went well. The ball's kind of in my court now. I've got to work harder and just do everything possible to get healthy again.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n SV

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n H

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

\r\n SO

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n Staten Island

\r\n

\r\n 0-1

\r\n

2

\r\n

\r\n 7.2

\r\n

9

\r\n

2

\r\n

8

\r\n

\r\n 3.52


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
\r\n
\r\nFastball. Melancon has both a four-seam and a two-seam fastball. His four-seamer ranges 92-94 MPH with good movement and he can touch 96 MPH at times. He also throws a power sinking two-seamer in the 90-93 MPH range with good life to it. He also has excellent command of his fastball, a pitch he labels his best out of his repertoire.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches. Aside from his power fastball, what makes Melancon so special is his power curveball. He throws his curveball straight over the top with great sinking action. He has impeccable command of his breaking ball, able to bury it in the dirt to get swinging strikes or sweep it over the plate for a called strike. He compliments his arsenal with a very good changeup, an advanced pitch considering he was a college closer. It also has great life to it with good command.
\r\n
\r\nPitching. Melancon's game is all about the power. He mixes in three power pitches and he throws all of his pitches over the top which can be very deceiving on opposing batters as they have no idea what pitch is coming. The fact he has plus command of all three pitches, able to throw them in any count, makes him even more devastating. But while his stuff is very special, it is his mental makeup that has the Yankees really excited. He's the ideal teammate and with his bulldog mentality, he thrives in pressure situations and seems born to play in New York.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Melancon has the stuff, command, and makeup to be an elite closer at the big league level. His power curveball has many scouts comparing it to Frankie Rodriguez of the Angels and the Yankees believe his plus changeup could make him even more successful. Now rehabbing his way back from Tommy John surgery, the Yankees will want him to get as many innings in as possible once he returns so don't be surprised if he pitches in a setup role at the minor league level when he's finally healthy.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2009. Melancon appeared to be on the fast-track before his surgery. Even though he is currently ahead of schedule in his rehab, it seems highly unlikely he will pitch in an official game next season. If all goes well he could make an appearance or two in Instructs next season and the early outlook has him breaking the 2008 season with the Tampa Yankees and he might need just one full minor league season before he's ready for the big leagues.
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