Mark Melancon

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Mark Melancon
Mark Melancon on July 13, 2015.jpg
Melancon at the 2015 All-Star Game
Pittsburgh Pirates – No. 35
Relief pitcher
Born: (1985-03-28) March 28, 1985 (age 30)
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 26, 2009, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
(through 2015 season)
Win–loss record 19–16
Earned run average 2.78
Strikeouts 342
Saves 121
WHIP 1.06
Career highlights and awards

Mark David Melancon (/məˈlænsən/ mə-LAN-sən; born March 28, 1985) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, and Boston Red Sox. Melancon was an MLB All-Star in 2013 and 2015.

Early years[edit]

Melancon was born in Wheat Ridge, Colorado and attended Golden High School, where he lettered all four years in baseball and basketball and three times in football. He was also named to several All-State teams in these three sports. He was also a member of the National Honor Society.[1]

Melancon was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 30th round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft.[2] He declined the offer so that he could attend the University of Arizona.[1]

College career[edit]

As a member of the Arizona Wildcats baseball team, Melancon appeared in 29 games (a single-season freshman record) and played in 5 post-season games. He pitched in 10 games for the United States national baseball team that summer.[1] In his sophomore year he worked as a closing pitcher, achieving 11 saves (a single-season record) in 34 appearances. He played a shortened season in 2006 due to a strained elbow ligament, and had a college career total of 18 saves.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Draft and minor leagues[edit]

Melancon was drafted by the New York Yankees in the ninth round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft.[1] Melancon pitched for the Staten Island Yankees of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League in 2006. He missed the entire 2007 season after having Tommy John surgery in October 2006.[3]

In 2008 he pitched for three of the Yankees minor league affiliates: the Single-A Tampa Yankees, Double-A Trenton Thunder and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, going 8-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 41 relief appearances, holding batters to a .202 batting average. Following the season, Baseball America rated him the organization's ninth best prospect.[4]

New York Yankees (2009–2010)[edit]

Melancon pitching for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, triple-A affiliates of the New York Yankees, in 2009

Melancon was called up to the majors for the first time on April 25, 2009.[5] He made his major league debut as a relief pitcher against the Boston Red Sox on April 26, pitching two scoreless innings. He was optioned back to Triple-A on May 8, and recalled on July 9.[6] Melancon played in 13 games with an 0-1 record and a 3.86 ERA during his time in the Majors in 2009. Although he was not on the 25-man active roster for the postseason, he got his first World Series ring as the Yankees won the World Series over the Phillies.[citation needed]

Melancon started the 2010 season in the minors and made 2 appearances in the Majors accumulating an ERA of 9.00 in 2 relief appearances with the Yankees.

Houston Astros (2010–2011)[edit]

Melancon was traded along with Jimmy Paredes to the Houston Astros for Lance Berkman on July 31, 2010.[7] For the rest of 2010 with the Astros, Melancon went 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in 20 relief appearances. Overall in 2010 combined with two teams, Melancon made 22 total appearances going 2-0 with a 4.22 ERA.

In 2011, Melancon experienced more playing time in the Majors as he appeared in 71 games with an 8-4 record, 20 saves, and a 2.78 ERA.

Boston Red Sox (2012)[edit]

On December 14, 2011, Melancon was traded to the Boston Red Sox for infielder Jed Lowrie and starter Kyle Weiland.[8] After only his first four appearances in 2012, where his ERA was 49.50, Melancon was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on April 18, the day after he gave up six runs, including three home runs, without recording an out against the Texas Rangers.[9] Melancon was recalled June 10 after an injury to Rich Hill. During his time in the Majors with the Red Sox in 2012, Melancon finished the season 0-2 and a 6.20 ERA and 1 save in 41 appearances.

Pittsburgh Pirates (2013–present)[edit]

On December 26, 2012, Melancon was traded (along with Stolmy Pimentel, Jerry Sands and Iván DeJesús, Jr.) to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Brock Holt and Joel Hanrahan.[10][11]

Melancon was selected as an All Star as a setup man in 2013, the 1st selection of his career. After Jason Grilli went on the disabled list, Melancon was named the acting closer for the Pirates. Melancon's 2013 season became stellar with a 1.39 ERA, a 3-2 record, and 16 saves. In Game 3 of the 2013 National League Division Series, Melancon got his first career postseason win but the Pirates would end up losing the series to the St. Louis Cardinals after a deciding 5 games. Melancon avoided arbitration with the Pirates by signing a one year contract worth $5.4 million on January 16, 2014.[12]

Melancon started the 2014 season as the Pirates setup man. However, Melancon was named the Pirates new permanent closer after Grilli was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in June 2014. Melancon finished his 2014 campaign posting a 3-5 record with a 1.90 ERA and converting 33 saves in 37 opportunities.

Starting the 2015 season as the Pirates' closer, Melancon was named an All Star for the second time in his career, and his first as a closer. He recorded his 100th career save against the Kansas City Royals and surpassed Mike Williams to become the all-time Pirates single-season saves leader, recording his 47th of the season on September 19.[13] He finished the season with a league-leading 51 saves and won the 2015 National League Reliever of the Year Award after the season.[14]


Melancon and his wife, Mary Catherine, have three children.[15][16]


  1. ^ a b c d e Axisa, Mike (February 4, 2009). "Prospect Profile: Mark Melancon". Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ "2003 Los Angeles Dodgers Picks in the MLB June Amateur Draft". Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ Sherman, Joel (February 25, 2008). "Melancon The Next Joba?". New York Post. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  4. ^ Manuel, John (November 10, 2008). "New York Yankees top 10 prospects". Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Yanks restock after injuries compound". Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ Julie Jacobson/Associated Press. "Report: New York Yankees recall reliever Mark Melancon". Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Astros on verge of dealing Berkman to Yanks". Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  8. ^ Red Sox Acquire Mark Melancon For Jed Lowrie & Kyle Weiland MLB Trade Rumors
  9. ^ "Mark Melancon sent to Triple-A". April 18, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  10. ^ Cafardo, Nick (September 17, 2014). "Brock Holt trade a big hit for Red Sox and Pirates". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 16, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Red Sox acquire right-handed pitcher Joel Hanrahan and infielder Brock Holt in six-player trade with Pirates". January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2015. 
  12. ^ Singer, Tom (January 16, 2015). "Melancon, eight other Pirates avoid arbitration". Retrieved January 16, 2015. 
  13. ^ Perry, Dayn (September 20, 2015). "Mark Melancon sets Pirates single-season record with 47th save". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Pirates notebook: Melancon named NL's top reliever". Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  15. ^ Erickson, Andrew. "Pirates' Melancon has been consistent since moving into closer's role". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  16. ^

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