Arizona Diamondbacks Could Be Perfect Fit For Ivan Melendez
It took 42 draft picks before Ivan Melendez heard his name called by former Major League Baseball closer J.J. Putz. When the Arizona Diamondbacks made their first selection of the second round last night, the wait was over for the former Coronado High and University of Texas star.
The MLB Draft is a total crapshoot because many teams choose the strategy to take the best player on the board regardless of position. In this case, a player could be blocked by a franchise talent at the same position or multiple minor league prospects who also play the same spot but are playing at a more advanced level. That is not the case with Melendez and the Diamondbacks. In fact, the Hispanic Titanic could probably not pick a better landing spot if he tried.
The Diamondbacks starting first baseman is Christian Walker, a 31-yuear old who is currently batting .204 with 22 home runs and 46 RBIs. According to MLB.com, the only other 1B prospect on their Top 30 list is Seth Beer (#10), a 25-year old who profiles more at DH than he does first base. Beer is hitting .210 in 27 games with Arizona this season and he is hitting .230 in 51 games with Reno this season. Both Walker and Beer are not viewed as a franchise player at first.
That means Melendez currently has a clear path to the bigs, although one trade or free agent signing can change all of that. It also means that he will need to hit for average an power in the Minor Leagues and show that his insane 2022 season at the University of Texas was not a fluke. I would bet that Melendez comes out swinging as soon as he reports to the Diamondbacks later this summer and all of El Paso will be rooting for their next great baseball star.