MiLB Player of the Week Spotlight: D-backs' Melendez

June 29th, 2023

If there were any questions about why was nicknamed the "Hispanic Titanic" coming out of Texas, those were answered -- with an exclamation point -- last week.

The seventh-ranked D-backs' prospect pulverized the ball over six games for High-A Hillsboro en route to being named the Minor League Player of the Week in the Northwest League. Melendez posted a .393/.393/.821 slash line with five RBIs and five runs scored while notching four multihit efforts -- including recording the first cycle at Ron Tonkin Field by a Hops player in franchise history.

"I try not to think about it too much just because this game, you know, you have to stay humble or it’ll humble you," Melendez told MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian, Jim Thome and Dan O'Dowd. "So, I’m just trying to take it day by day and just try to do my best every day."

The celebration of the feat was slightly delayed, though, as a stat correction the following morning changed a double-and-error in the fifth inning of Friday night's game into Melendez's first triple of the season. Still, Melendez finds himself amid one of the best stretches of his pro career. The 23-year-old's home run to begin his cycle effort on Friday was his third dinger in five games -- giving him 14 in 48 games this season. In addition to flexing his 60-grade power, Melendez also sports a .308 average and 1.071 OPS in June.

After playing to mixed results in his rookie campaign last season, Melendez appears to have found his footing this year -- his first full season in pro ball -- since his return from the injured list on May 3. On May 5, the El Paso native kicked off a 17-game hitting streak, which set a Hillsboro franchise record. His 14 long balls also have him just two behind setting the new franchise mark for the Hops in a single season.

"I know I’ve always had the power, it's really just a matter of me getting rolling," Melendez told MLB Network. "I know at the beginning of 2022, at Texas, I started off slow the first month and it was kind of the same this year. I don’t know if it’s just how I start my season, but I think once I get constant at-bats and constantly seeing pitching and velo, I think it helps me."

The 43rd overall selection in the 2022 Draft hit .387 with 32 home runs and 97 RBIs in his final season with the Longhorns.

"It’s a little different. I mean, at the end of the day it’s still baseball. But, just the speed of the game, with the new time clock. There’s just a lot more action on the field," Melendez said. "Always preparing yourself to receive a baseball. Or, you know, the speed of the game with the guys coming out of the bullpen, everybody throwing hard these days.

"You know, there’s a slight change, but at the end of the day it’s still baseball."

The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder hit .207 with three home runs, eight RBIs and 11 runs scored in 25 games with Single-A Visalia last season. Melendez is slashing .283/.370/.609 with 31 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs and 28 runs scored over 48 games with the Hops this year. He's also shown improved plate discipline with 18 walks.