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M.J. Melendez

#7 | C/LF/RF
Kansas City Royals Kansas City Royals
M.J. Melendez
Name: Mervyl S. Melendez
Born: Nov 28, 1998 in Montgomery, AL
High School: Westminster Christian School, Palmetto Bay, Fla.
Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 185 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: R
Drafted in the 2nd round (52nd overall) by the Kansas City Royals in 2017 (signed for $2,097,500)
Melendez moved from Alabama and enrolled at Westminster Christian after his father, Mervyl Melendez, was hired to be the head coach at Florida International prior to M.J.'s senior year. M.J. established himself as one of the top catching prospects in the class with a strong showing on the showcase circuit, and he made impressive strength gains as a senior. Melendez is a lithe, athletic receiver with quick feet and excellent lateral mobility. He sets a low target. He has plus arm strength behind the plate and can throw accurately with carry from his knees. Melendez is a lefthanded hitter whose power is ahead of his pure hitting ability at this point. He has a bit of a high hand set with some length to his swing. Melendez uses a leg kick to get his lower half started and has quick hands; when he connects with a pitch he's able to drive the ball with authority, and he projects to hit for some power at the pro level. He ditches his leg kick in two-strike counts and focuses more on making contact. The Florida International commit is a heady player with excellent recall, giving him an advantage when he's seeing a pitcher for the second time. He's a smart game-caller, has years of experience catching hard throwers on the showcase circuit and is bilingual, so he could adapt to catching at the professional level faster than most prep catchers.
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