The Kansas City Royals Single A affiliate, the Lexington Legends, have plenty of players to be excited about. One of which is catching prospect MJ Melendez.
Catching prospect MJ Melendez is listed on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Prospects for the Kansas City Royals, at number five, and he ranks as the ninth overall catching prospect. The nineteen year old was drafted in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft.
Melendez was an All-Star this season, and he earned player of the week honors early on in the season.
He has resided in Lexington with the Legends for the entirety of the 2018 season. Throughout the season, he has played in 100 games, totaling 375 at bats. He’s slashing .248/.318/.483 on the season. He’s knocked in 68 RBIs on the season, and he has hit 16 home runs.
The downside to Melendez is his strikeout rate. This season, he has struck out about 30% of the time. He’s young, and it is only his second year of professional baseball. The hope is that he will be able to decrease that rate and be able to be a great source of run production from behind the plate, as Salvador Perez has done for the Kansas City Royals.
While behind the plate, he has thrown out 25 runners stealing. MLB Pipeline described him as an extremely athletic defender, and they are also impressed by his ability to call the game.
When will he see time in the MLB?
MLB Pipeline predicted that 2021 will be the year that MJ Melendez is given an opportunity to see the field with the Kansas City Royals. It seems to be a good estimate. He does have to move up through the system, still.
Plus, the strikeout rate is something he needs to improve on before he can advance too far in the system. The good news is that there is no current need behind the plate for the Kansas City Royals. With Salvador Perez playing as well as he is, there is no need to rush with Melendez.