An update on Mark Melancon, via George King in Baseball America -
Though the Yankees are high on righthander Mark Melancon, don’t go looking for his 2007 statistics.
He missed the entire season after having Tommy John surgery in November 2006. But when spring training opens in February, it’s likely the 2006 ninth-round pick from Arizona will be in major league camp—despite having just seven games for short-season Staten Island under his belt.
“This guy’s makeup is off the charts,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said of Melancon, who went 0-1, 3.52 in seven relief appearances in the New York-Penn League in 2006.
Coming out of Arizona, where he held the single-season and career saves records when he left, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Melancon had first-round stuff. The barking elbow scared other teams, but the Yankees thought so much of Melancon that they gave him supplemental first-round money to sign.
“We knew the elbow was going to go. It was a matter of not if but when,” farm director Mark Newman said.
Elbow woes don’t frighten the Yankees. They wanted righthander Humberto Sanchez from the Tigers in the Gary Sheffield deal, knowing he needed surgery. Righthander Andrew Brackman, taken in the first round of the 2007 draft from North Carolina State, had the surgery as well, and likely won’t pitch until 2009.
And while they were impressed with Melancon’s physical equipment—94 mph fastball, curveball and changeup—the Yankees gush about his work ethic and makeup.
“Since I have been here, he is in the top two or three guys as far as working,” Newman said.
Prior to attending the organization’s Dominican instructional league in early November, Melancon spent time at the complex in Tampa. “He is clearly ahead of the rehab schedule,” Newman said. “He works and is very competitive.”
Still, it’s a looooong way from the New York-Penn League to the majors. Don’t count on him making the big league team out of Spring Training.