Mervyl Melendez Jr. resides in Miami, Fla... He participated in Royals Rally 2023... Melendez played for Team Puerto Rico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic... He won the 2021 Derby in Paradise, a Home Run Derby on a beach in the Bahamas, in which 35 players hit homers into the ocean... He graduated from Westminster Christian HS (Fla.), after transferring from his Alabama HS to play closer to his father, Mervyl Sr., who was the Head Coach at Florida International University.
Melendez appeared in 129 games (124 starts) with the Royals in his 2022 debut season, including starts at catcher (65), left field (22), right field (15) and DH (22)... Only eight other first-year players in American League history have matched his combination of HR (18) and walks (66) in a single season, most recently done by Eric Hinske in 2002…Melendez is the only first-year player to hit those marks while playing at least 50% of his games at catcher. .. Melendez’s 66 walks ranked third among rookies in Royals history behind Mike Fiore’s 84 in 1969 and Kevin Seitzer’s 80 in 1987... He drew 30 walks over his last 51 games from Aug. 9 through season’s end, which tied for third in the American League during that time, behind only Aaron Judge (53) and Adley Rutschman (31)... On May 17 vs. the White Sox, Melendez became the third Royal in the last 40 years, according to Elias, to start both games at catcher in a doubleheader. .. Melendez hit four leadoff home runs in 2022, passing David DeJesus (three in 2004) for the most by a Royals rookie…only three rookies in American League history have hit more leadoff HR than Melendez: Nomar Garciaparra (7) in 1997, Mike Trout (5) in 2012 and Julio Rodríguez (5) in 2022... He hit a leadoff triple on July 12 vs. Detroit, becoming the third catcher since 1915 to record a leadoff triple, following Craig Biggio on Sept. 12, 1991 and Rollie Hemsley on June 27, 1939... His leadoff HR on Sept. 28 was his first as a catcher, making him the 10th player (16th occurrence) since 1915 to record a leadoff HR as a catcher.... In Kansas City’s four-game series vs. Boston from Aug. 4-7, Melendez had three HR and 10 RBI to mark the most RBI in any series by a first-year player in franchise history... On Aug. 7 vs. Boston, Melendez recorded a career-best six RBI, becoming the fourth Royal with a six-RBI game from the leadoff spot, following Whit Merrifield on June 18, 2019, Brian McRae on July 14, 1991 and Willie Wilson on June 15, 1979... On Sept. 17 at Fenway Park, Melendez went 3-for-5 with four runs, becoming the first catcher in franchise history to score four runs in a game.
Hit 41 home runs between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha to claim the Joe Bauman Award, which is given to Minor League Baseball’s home run king...he became the third Royals minor league player to earn the award since it was first presented in 2002, joining Craig Brazell (39 HR in 2007) and Mike Moustakas (36 HR in 2010)...His 41 home runs rank second in a season by any Royals minor leaguer, trailing only Chris Hatcher’s 46 with Omaha in 1998...he recorded the 17th season of 40-or-more home runs in Minor League Baseball since 1990 and first since 2016...his 41 HR were the most in a year since Kris Bryant hit 43 in 2014, and he was the first primary catcher to hit at least 40 homers in a season since Todd Greene (40 in 1995)...In addition to leading the minors in home runs, he also ranked second in RBI (103), third in slugging percentage (.625), OPS (1.011) and total bases (280) and fourth in extra-base hits (66)...Earned Double-A Central Player of the Week honors three times, more than any other Double-A player...Named Double-A Central Most Valuable Player and a postseason All-Star at catcher...Began the season with 28 homers in 79 games for Northwest Arkansas, before being promoted to Omaha on Aug. 9, where he hit his final 13 homers in 44 games with the Storm Chasers...during a 40-game stretch from July 2-Aug. 18, he didn’t go more than three games without a home run, hitting 18 during that span...he recorded six games with two homers and homered in consecutive games five times...At the time of his promotion to Triple-A on Aug. 9, he was hitting .285 (85-for-298) and led all Double-A players in homers (28), RBI (65), slugging pct. (.628), OPS (.999), extra-base hits (46) and total bases (187)... he was named Double-A Central Player of the Month for July, batting .333 (36-for-108), with eight doubles, 12 homers and 29 RBI, while recording 11 multi-hit games in that span.
Spent the season at the Royals’ Alternate Training Site in Kansas City, Kansas...A non-roster invitee to Major League Spring Training… appeared in 10 Cactus League games, going 3-for-16 (.188) with a homer and five RBI...Also participated the club’s Postseason Camp at Kauffman Stadium in October.
Spent the entire season with Wilmington (A+), playing in 110 games, which ranked third among Carolina League catchers...Named a Carolina League midseason All-Star, entering the game as a reserve...Threw out 36-of-60 would-be basestealers (60.0 percent)… his caught stealing total ranked fourth in the Carolina League, while he was the only catcher in the league to throw out better than 50 percent (min. 10 attempts). Hit his second professional grand slam on June 3 at Myrtle Beach, a go-ahead blast in the fifth inning of a 9-5 triumph...Entered the season at the club's No. 5 prospect, according to MLB.com Pipeline and No. 6, according to Baseball America.
Played the full season with Lexington (A), earning coPlayer of the Year honors with Seuly Matias…also named a MiLB.com Organization All-Star and a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star...Starting catcher for the South Division in the SAL All-Star Game, going 1-for-2 with a run scored...Ranked third in the league in triples (9), fourth in RBI (73), fifth in homers (19), total bases (206) and slugging (.492) and seventh in OPS (.814)...Named SAL Player of the Week on May 20, after going 10for-24 (.417) with a double, a triple, four homers and eight RBI over six games in the previous week...Collected 42 of his 54 extra-base hits against right-handed pitching, slugging .523...Recorded his first two career multi-homer games on May 18 at West Virginia and on Aug. 28 vs. Augusta...in the May 18 game, he also established a career high with 10 total bases, collecting a double and two homers, going 3-for-5...Drove in a career-high six runs on May 21 vs. Rome, which included a three-run homer and a pair of RBI doubles...Entered the season as the No. 6 prospect in the Royals' minor league system, according to Baseball America.
Rated as the 13th-best prospect in the Arizona League by Baseball America, while playing for Surprise (Rookie)...Batted .262/.374/.417 (44-for-168) with eight doubles, three triples and four homers…reached safely in 41 of his 47 games, while he led Surprise in on-base percentage (min. 100 plate appearances), tied for the team lead in homers and ranked second in RBI.