Only eight more days of prospects left after this look at Mark Melancon continues Thunder Thoughts series of breaking down the Yankees 30 best farmhands, as rated by Baseball America.
#9 Mark Melancon
Height: 6′ 2″
Weight: 215 lbs.
Age At Start of 2009 Season: 24
Career statistics: 51 GP, 8-2, 5 SV, 2.37, 24 BB, 97 K
Highest Level Reached: AAA
The former Arizona standout may have been the player I most anticipated getting to see play for the Thunder in 2008. He did not disappoint. In the two months he called Waterfront Park home, he proved he wasn’t just hype…he was, in fact, a legit reliever with nasty stuff who was close to being ready for the big leagues. One year later, in 2009, and it seems very likely that Melancon will be wearing pinstripes at some point in the inaugural season of the new Yankee Stadium. Whether he eventually replaces Mariano Rivera or not is clearly not known just yet, but it does seem he could be that eighth inning option that everyone’s been looking for in the meantime.
Thunder ETA: Pitched for Thunder in 2008, unlikely to return in 2009
The Melanca-raptor…don’t worry, my nicknames never stick…made his much anticipated appearance in Trenton in mid-May, and did not disappoint. He held Eastern League batters to a measly .183 average, and won all six of his decisions over the course of 19 games. Many questions were raised as to why Melancon was working so many innings per appearance (9 of his 19 appearances were three innings or longer) but it was in Trenton where he proved his arm was more than just holding up to the rigors of Tommy John surgery.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com