Royals agree with 2nd-rounder Melendez

Left-handed-hitting catcher features power, athleticism

June 19th, 2017

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals and second-round Draft pick (No. 52 overall) M.J. Melendez have agreed to terms.

Melendez, a catcher whom the Royals believed to be the best at the position in this year's Draft, signed for $2.1 million,'s Jim Callis reports, a deal well above slot value for the pick ($1,295,700). Baseball America first reported the signing.

The club has not confirmed the agreement with Melendez.

Melendez's father, Mervyl Melendez, said his son signed on Saturday and is now participating in minicamp in Surprise, Ariz. The Royals have also signed their first-round pick, first baseman Nick Pratto, according to's William Boor.

With his father being a head college baseball coach his whole life, Melendez grew up around the sport. He displayed signs of wanting to be a catcher when he was 2 years old, his father said, by crouching down, putting a hat over his face like a catcher's mask and smacking a glove against the tile in their home to simulate the popping sound a mitt makes when a baseball is caught in just the right spot.

"He was fascinated with being a catcher," Melendez's father said.

Melendez began playing organized baseball when he was 4 and became a 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect MLB Pipeline rated No. 72 overall in the Draft.

Though Melendez was committed to play for his father at Florida International University, Mervyl said the moment his son was drafted they knew he wouldn't be attending school.

"You have that feeling that that's the organization you really wanted," Melendez's father said. "Once that happened, we knew that's what he needed to do."