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2017 MLB Draft Profile: M.J. Melendez, C, Palmetto Bay, Florida

Another impressive high school catcher for the 2017 MLB Draft: Florida prep M.J. Melendez

If Luis Campusano isn’t the top high school catcher in the 2017 MLB Draft class, the distinction likely belongs to M.J. Melendez. Let’s add his name to our growing catalog of draft profiles.

THE BASICS

Of Puerto Rican heritage, M.J. Melendez is the son of Mervyl Melendez, head baseball coach at Florida International University. M.J. played most of his high school ball in Alabama but moved to Palmetto Bay, Florida to attend Westminster Christian High when his dad took over as the FIU head coach in 2016.

A showcase presence since 2012, Melendez is listed at 6-1, 175, a left-handed hitter, born November 29th, 1998. He is committed to Florida International for college.

STRENGTHS

Unusually athletic and quick for a catcher, Melendez stands out for his defense. He has a 60-grade arm, a quick release, and the general athleticism more commonly associated with shortstops than backstops. As you’d imagine from the son of a head coach, he knows how to play the game and demonstrates stellar field leadership skills.

As a hitter, Melendez has a quick bat and has flashed good power when his swing is in sync.

WEAKNESSES

His glove is undoubtedly excellent but opinions on his bat are mixed. When he’s right he shows good power to all fields but his swing is not consistent and needs more polish to work at higher levels. That’s not unusual given his age of course, but like all high school catchers it remains to be seen if the demands of the position slow his offensive development. He may present a signability risk given the opportunity to play for his dad at FIU.

OVERALL PROJECTION

Like Luis Campusano, Melendez seems unlikely to slip past the second round if his bonus demands are reasonable and could get into the back part of the first round under certain circumstances.