MARK David MELANCON
Image of Stretch
Nickname:   Stretch Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   DIAMONDBACKS
Height: 6' 1" Bats:   R
Weight: 215 Throws:   R
DOB: 3/28/1985 Agent: ISE Baseball
Uniform #: 36  
Birth City: Wheat Ridge, CO
Draft: Yankees #9 - 2006 - Out of Univ. of Arizona
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2006 NYP STATEN ISLAND   7 7.2 9 8 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 9 3.52
2007 - D.L.-Rehab                            
2008 FSL TAMPA   13 25.1 26 20 6 0 0 0 0 1 0   2.84
2008 EL TRENTON   19 49.2 32 47 12 0 0 0 2 6 0   1.81
2008 IL SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE   12 20 11 22 4 0 0 0 1 1 1   2.70
2009 IL SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE   32 53 37 54 11 0 0 0 3 4 0   2.89
2009 AL YANKEES   13 16.1 13 10 10 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.217 3.86
2010 PCL ROUND ROCK   3 4.1 5 2 1 0 0 0 1 1 0   0.00
2010 IL SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE   40 56.1 63 58 31 0 0 0 6 6 1   3.67
2010 NL YANKEES   2 4 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.389 9.00
2010 NL ASTROS   20 17.1 12 19 8 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.194 3.12
2011 NL ASTROS $421.00 71 74.1 65 66 26 0 0 0 20 8 4 0.234 2.78
2012 IL PAWTUCKET   21 21.2 15 27 3 0 0 0 11 0 0   0.83
2012 AL RED SOX   41 45 45 41 12 0 0 0 1 0 2 0.256 6.20
2013 NL PIRATES $521.00 72 71 60 70 8 0 0 0 16 3 2 0.223 1.39
2014 NL PIRATES $2,595.00 72 71 51 71 11 0 0 0 33 3 5 0.195 1.90
2015 NL PIRATES $5,400.00 78 76.2 57 62 14 0 0 0 51 3 2 0.207 2.23
2016 NL PIRATES   45 41.2 31 38 9 0 0 0 30 1 1 0.205 1.51
2016 NL NATIONALS   30 29.2 21 27 3 0 0 0 17 1 1 0.202 1.82
2017 CAL SAN JOSE   3 2.2 6 4 0 3 0 0 0 0 0   13.50
2017 PCL SACRAMENTO   1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2017 NL GIANTS $7,000.00 32 30 37 29 6 0 0 0 11 1 2 0.301 4.50
2018 PCL SACRAMENTO   4 3.2 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2018 NL GIANTS   41 39 48 31 14 0 0 0 3 1 4 0.302 3.23
2019 NL GIANTS $19,000.00 43 46.1 49 44 16 0 0 0 1 4 2 0.278 3.50
2019 NL BRAVES   23 21 22 24 2 0 0 0 11 1 0 0.253 3.86
2020 NL BRAVES $10,185.00 23 22.2 22 14 7 0 0 0 11 2 1 0.262 2.78
2021 NL PADRES   64 65 54 59 25 0 0 0 39 4 3 0.228 2.23
Personal
  • Melancon was born in Wheat Ridge, Colorado and attended Golden High School, where he lettered all four years in baseball and basketball and three times in football. He helped the team capture the Colorado 4A State Championship in baseball. Melancon was named to the All-State Team twice in his career, as well as twice in football and once in basketball.

    And he graduated as a member of the National Honor Society.

  • In 2004, Melancon set an Arizona freshman record, pitching in 29 games as he helped the Wildcats to the College World Series.

    In 2005, he set a single-season record with 11 saves.

  • Melancon tends to live on the edge. He sprained his left ankle while skydiving during his freshman year at the University of Arizona.

    In the summer of 2005, when Mark was in Japan to play in the Friendship Series as a member of Team USA, he hopped on a three-wheel grounds-crew vehicle and took it for a joy ride around the Osaka Dome.

    And he voiced the urge to fly in an F-16 fighter jet to Arizona coach Andy Lopez. The Davis-Monahan Air Force Base is not far from the school.  (Will Kimmey-Baseball America-2/27/2006)

  • While rehabbing from Tommy John surgery after the 2006 season, Melancon made the best use of his time, going back to the University of Arizona and completing 21 credit hours to earn his college degree.

    "For the first three or four months, I was with a trainer in Arizona who I actually lived with," Mark said. "It was a full-out rehab. I was immersed in rehab and that's why it went great. I went to school and rehabbed."

    Yankees senior vice president of baseball operations, Mark Newman said, "There is no more diligent rehabber than Mark Melancon. He's as good as anybody we've ever had."

  • In 2006, Mark signed with the Yankees (see Transactions below). 
  • After taking part in instructional league in the fall of 2007, he went to a six-week session at the Yankees' academy in the Dominican Republic. He then moved in with Dominican teammate Jairo Heredia so he could continue to work out at the facility and learn about the country.

    “How many opportunities do you get to have an experience like that?” Melancon said. “I was down there playing baseball, but I also was learning about the culture and the people. My arm felt good. I wanted to get in as many innings as I could.”

    None of that surprised Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer. “He has a curiosity,” Oppenheimer said. “He wants to learn, and not just about baseball.”

    Oppenheimer laughed when he talked about the five-month rehab program Melancon went through in Tampa in 2007. Melancon took off on a weekend to visit Key West, sleeping in his car on a bridge, and fishing from the roadside. He took in a NASCAR race at Daytona. He made three trips to Cape Canaveral to watch space missions launch. He also was a sponge around the Yankee big leaguers.

    “Mariano (Rivera) talks about the questions Mark asked, the way he wanted to learn the game and understand it,” Oppenheimer said. “it made an impression on the big leaguers. They respect him.”

    Melancon always has been that way, said Todd Severtson, who coached Melancon on youth teams and at Golden High in Colorado. Severtson remembers taking youth teams to tournaments around the United States. “Mark would be going to museums and zoos,” he said. “The other guys were horsing around, like most kids, but Mark wanted to explore other things. He was mature beyond his background.

    “When he was 10 years old, we were playing in a national tournament in Iowa,” Severtson said. “I went to the mound and he looks up and says, ‘Coach, what are you doing out here?’ He was in control of things.”  (Tracy Tingolsby-Baseball America-11/14/2011)

  • Following is a story about Melancon's first spring with the Yankees. He was miles away from his Colorado home and needing wheels.

    "I didn't have a car and my roommate didn't have a car," he said. "So we started looking through the classifieds at used cars. I thought, 'Shoot, let's rent a car for a day and go check out some of these cars.' The first place we went had this old beat-up van. It had holes in the bottom. You could see the street while you're driving. There were holes in the roof, too." It was love at first sight.

    "It was a classic," he said. "We bought this thing for $350 and used it to go everywhere for a couple of weeks. It was the getaway car for all the guys in the hotel." When spring training ended, he donated the van to Cars for Kids.  (Richard Justice-MLB.com-12/15/2011)

  • In 2007, Baseball America rated Melancon as 9th-best prospect in the Yankees organization. And he was at #11 in the spring of 2008. They had him back at #9 in the winter before 2009 spring training. But he was down to #15 in the spring of 2010.

  • Mark has a great attitude, is a real plus in the clubhouse and has a tireless work ethic and coachability. His makeup is outstanding. A big part of who he is mentally is how he can steadfastly focus on both immediate and long-term goals with incredible intensity.

    Melancon has an uncanny ability to focus. All those positive traits were instilled in him at a very early age while growing up in Colorado—just part of his upbringing he says.

    "It definitely comes from my parents," Mark said. "We're a blue collar family and you make sure you appreciate everything you have; you don't take anything for granted. I believe that God has a plan."

  • He picked up some Spanish-language skills.

  • Melancon is a weight room warrior.
  • His strong leadership presence can be contagious.

  • Mark's wife, Mary Catherine, was induced into labor, delivering their first child on September 27, 2011. It was a girl, and they named her Brooklyn Marie.

  • Early in the 2013 season, Melancon dubbed the Pirates' relievers the "Shark Tank" on Twitter. Mark came up with the name while diving with great white sharks in southern New Zealand—an item on the pitcher and his wife's bucket list. A younger shark hadn't been named yet, so a diver they were with said, "Why don't we just name it after you?"

    And the pitcher brought the idea back to Pittsburgh and his cohorts, as a two-ton shark named "Melancon" swims halfway across the world.

    "I'm good with whatever they like," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of the nickname. "They seem to like the name, and they've kind of bought into that mentality. So I'm good with it."

  • The blond crewcut Melancon has is slightly less hyper, fans may have noticed, than Jason Grilli, trailing those long dark locks. Grilli would punctuate saves with punches in the air—then undercuts into catcher Russell Martin's midsection. Melancon is a handshake guy. 

    "I don't know if personality matters. It's all about getting three outs," said Melancon. "I'm not trying to show anybody up, or make myself look bigger than the team. I'm one to just bulldog, and go after it."

    It works, said manager Clint Hurdle. Grilli was an open book. Melancon? Can't judge the book by its cover.

    "He's very humble and very competitive," Hurdle said of Melancon. "He's got that edge, don't let his outward behavior fool you. He's every bit as competitive as Grilli. There are different ways of showing it."

    Don't think that Melancon is thoroughly vanilla, without streaks of Neapolitan. After all, he's the guy who inspired the Pittsburgh bullpen's Shark Tank culture. And while his exit strategy may be docile, not so his entrance. He comes through the gates to "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC, whose "Hells Bells" for years introduced Trevor Hoffman.

    "Hoffman and Rivera never beat their chests, either," said Hurdle, likening Melancon's personality to those of the two greats. "They came in to pretty good music, but that's where [the extracurriculars] stopped." 

    Melancon broke into the Majors with the 2009-10 Yankees, sitting in their bullpen alongside Mariano Rivera.

    "The big thing I got from Mo," Melancon remembered, "was to just go do your job, and don't be the spotlight."

  • Nick Hundley and Melancon are close friends dating back to their time at Arizona when they advanced to the College World Series together in 2004. They were in each other's weddings and Hundley accompanied Melancon to New Zealand on the trip that garnered Melancon the nickname "Mark the Shark."

    "I've always loved him as a guy, I've always loved him as a competitor, I'd want him on my team any day," Hundley said. "It's just fun to face him because it's a challenge. When you face one of the best in the game, who is also one of your good friends—it's special."

  • Mark has been the model of stability at an unstable position during his time in Pittsburgh. He's been reliable on the mound, stubborn in both his routine and his refusal to allow runs. In 2016, for the third time in four years, he's an All-Star.  

    Melancon is already looking forward to his favorite part of the Midsummer Classic experience: sitting on the field with his wife, Mary Catherine, and kids—Brooklyn, Ella Grace and Jack David—during the Home Run Derby.

    "The last two times I've done this, that has been the standout moment each time—something where my kids will be able to look back and go, 'We were there for that. We don't really remember it, but it was fun,'" Melancon said. "Something special that you can't really pay to do that. It's not a vacation. It's not an experience that you can just go out and do at any time."  (Berry - MLB.com - 7/5/2016)

  • March 2017: Melancon was listed among six pitchers on the Team USA designated pitcher pool, meaning that the pair was eligible to play in the second round of the World Baseball Classic.

  • The Giants want to make sure you haven't missed the news with a new 2017 ad campaign centered around their brand-new closer, Melancon, literally closing things. He takes on Brandon Crawford's trunk when he's not looking, locks mascot Lou Seal out of the building and snaps shut the lid to Buster Posey's pretzels. As a fan of pretzels, I can tell you: You don't ever close another person's snacks.   (Clair - mlb.com - 3/28/2017)

  • January 5, 2017: Since it's the offseason, perhaps you've had a moment to check out Mark Melancon's latest SYFY thriller: "Sharkhorse Park." While he did get the approval of the television network known for making cult movies like "Sharnado," the flick hasn't been made … yet. So he will just have to hang out with the sheep until then.

    During the Giants reliever's downtime, he was spotted posing for a picture with the fluffiest sheep you will lay your eyes on—and the animal seemed to be raising his fist or offering a high-five or even perhaps raising his hand, we don't quite know. What we do know is that it seems like Melancon's time in New Zealand is extra special. ( J Kleinschmidt - MLB.com - January 5, 2018)

  • Mark has never shown any fear on the mound. He has been one of the most consistent relievers in baseball over 2008-2018.  Relief pitchers must be able to avoid being rattled by the pressure of the situation and execute their pitches in the highest-leverage parts of the game. For Melancon, these in-game situations are relatively tame compared to his offseason activities, which he describes in his own Twitter bio: "Been known to dive with Great Whites and walk with Cheetahs!"

    Melancon does indeed spend his time away from baseball seeking out the kinds of thrills that many would not dare attempt. He credits his sense of adventure to his father, who took him bungee jumping when he was just 7 years old—with the help of some ankle weights.  At 7 years old he did not meet the weight requirements of the bungee jump, so he and his father tied weights to his legs.  He met the required weight and had a blast jumping!

    For his wedding, Mark's wife and he put together a bucket list of 60 items.  They were younger at the time so whatever they spit out went on the list.  They have done about 45 of the items. 

    One example is, "We got to go down to Bolivia and bike down the world's 'most dangerous road.'  That's literally what it's called," Melancon said. "It's 42 miles long.  There is pavement at the beginning and it turns to gravel.  You're going down a one-lane road on a mountain cliff.  There is no guard rail.  There are cars coming up around corners that you don't see.  It's wild.  But what a cool experience to be in a different country and do that."  (Mintz & Shusterman - mlb.com - 8/28/2018)

    LAWN GUYS

  • It's not uncommon for pitchers to meet up with their opposition before games and swap trade secrets: pitch grips, deliveries and ballplayer wisdom are all part of the secret language that hurlers share among themselves. But a pitcher swapping tips with the opposition's groundskeeper?  

    That's because Melancon moonlights with his very own turf installation company, Diamond Turf.

    "Arizona's grounds crew was great," Melancon said. "I've spent a lot of time with them.  Toronto last year, spent a lot of time in Texas.  You know, every field's done a little bit different.  You can learn from each of those grounds crews that deal with that type of field.  Obviously, they're trying to replicate something for 81 games that's perfect to a natural product," Melancon added.  "And so they're very picky on the ball bounce and stuff like that.  Depending on the infill that you use, yeah, it will bounce differently."

    Landscaping wasn't a family business, and he didn't grow up with a deep obsession for turf and turf supplies.  No, Melancon's mid-career extracurriculars came about because of two things. 

    First, Melancon asked his sister, Michelle, and brother-in-law, Gerardo, to move closer to his family on the west coast of Florida from their home in Colorado.  While Gerardo could transfer his job, it would have involved an extremely long commute and employers that paid his previous rate were also scarce in the nearby area.  Melancon wanted to help out since he was the reason for them picking up and moving their lives in the first place.

    Second, Melancon had a putting green installed in his backyard and he wasn't happy with the results.  So, with the kind of gusto that leads to garage bands and plans to remodel basements into swanky hangout areas, the two leapt into it.  The only difference: They followed through on their dream.

    "Gerardo and I just said, 'Let's do this,'" Melancon said. "This is something we're attracted to and we'll figure it out. And fortunately, he was on board and excited about it. So was I. We dove right in and started learning and went from there."  And Diamond Turf was born. 

    The company quickly grew to about 20 members strong.  Along with roughly 15 laborers, the main office features Mark, Michelle, Gerardo, an office administrator named Debbie Hertenstein and, oh yeah, another Major Leaguer in J.B. Shuck, who now runs sales.  Shuck, who's married to Melancon's wife's sister, had signed a Minor League deal with the Nationals.  But when COVID-19 ended the Minor League season, Shuck joined up with Diamond Turf full-time.

    "Those two guys," Melancon said about his two brothers by marriage, "work ethic off the charts and just quality people."  Since then, they've installed lawns—some complete with trampolines in them—intricate design and logo work and, of course, putting greens.  (Clair - mlb.com - 4/8/2021)

  • Mark truly loves his "other" job in landscaping.  Even during the season, he is constantly working, using Diamond Turf business as a nice release from the non-stop stress of baseball.  Though he's mostly involved in an admin role, working on payroll and material orders, he's perhaps working more than even his co-workers enjoy.

    "I'm heavily involved, but I'm involved in places that I don't have to be," Melancon jokes. "But I want to be and I enjoy being [involved, even though] things could still get done without me. It's the times when I'm in the hotel on the road that I can spend a lot of time on it. Fortunately, I have a good team in place that can take care of those things."

    Still, even for someone who loves turf and works in turf and even espouses the environmental benefits that turf can provide, he still prefers to play on natural grass. 

    "From a professional standpoint, I think natural grass is always better," Melancon said. "I don't really care. It's more the infielders and outfielders—I'll go with whatever they want. Playing in Texas in the playoffs last year was great. I thought that surface was awesome. To be honest, you didn't even really know it was artificial."

    In the end, even though Melancon is a pitcher, you wouldn't know it from the way he talks about his side gig. He sounds perfectly at home running a turf installation company.

    "Wanting the best for people, that's been our motto," Melancon said. "We want to do the best job that we can do for people. We're there to make money, obviously, but we want to leave the customer with great customer service and quality, longevity. We specialize in putting greens because that's what's enjoyable, that's what gets us excited. And we feel like, if we can master the putting green side, we can really do anything because those are the hardest things. And we really feel like we produce one of the best putting greens out there."  (Clair - mlb.com - 4/8/2021)

  • July 2021: Melancon was chosen to represent the Padres in the All-Star Game.

            TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2006: Mark signed with the Yankees after they chose him in the 9th round, out of the University of Arizona. His bonus was a hefty $600,000. He was signed by scouts Andy Stankowicz and Jeff Patterson.

  • July 31, 2010: The Astros sent Lance Berkman to the Yankees, acquiring Melancon and INF Jimmy Paredes.

  • December 14, 2011: The Red Sox sent SS Jed Lowrie and P Kyle Weiland to the Astros, acquiring Melancon.

  • December 26, 2012: The Red Sox traded RHP Mark Melancon, RHP Stolmy Pimentel, INF Ivan De Jesus, and 1B/OF Jerry Sands to Pittsburgh; acquiring RHP Joel Hanrahan and INF Brock Holt.

  • January 17, 2014: Mark and the Pirates avoided salary arbitration by agreeing on a $2.6 million contract for 2014.

  • January 16, 2015: Melancon and the Pirates again avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $5.4 million salary for 2015.

  • January 15, 2016: The Pirates and Melancon again avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year contract for $9.6 million.

  • July 30, 2016: The Pirates traded Melancon to the Nationals for LHPs Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn.

  • November 3, 2016: Mark elected free agency.

  • December 5, 2016: Melancon signed with the Giants, four years for $62 million.

  • July 31, 2019: The Giants traded Melancon to the Braves for RHP Dan Winkler and RHP Tristan Beck.

  • Oct 28, 2020: Mark elected free agency.

  • Feb 12, 2021: The Padres agreed with 35-year-old right-hander Mark Melancon on a one-year deal.

  • Nov 5, 2021: Melancon became a free agent. The closer declined his end of a $5 million mutual contract option for 2022.

  • Dec. 1, 2021: The Diamondbacks agreed to two-year deal with Melancon worth $14 million. The deal also includes a mutual option for the 2024 season.
Pitching
  • Melancon has a lively 91-95 mph four-seam FASTBALL, and an average 82-84 mph 12-to-6 downer CURVEBALL. He added a 90-93 mph CUTTER during 2011 spring training. It cuts in on a lefthanded hitter. (Spring, 2018)

    Mark doesn't throw that hammer curve for strikes enough anymore. He still tries to get hitters to chase it into the dirt. His sinker has nasty running action that bores down and in to righthanded hitters, and away from lefties. Hitters can't get good wood on that two-seamer. His command is excellent with both heaters.

  • 2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 10.4% of the time; Sinker .2% of the time; Change .1% of the time; Curve 25.7%; Cutter 63.1%; and Split .7% of the time.

    2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 4.5% of the time; Curve 24.7%; Cutter 70.5%; and Split .4% of the time.

    2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 7.4% of the time; Curve 28.4%; Cutter 60.9%; and Split 3.4% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 92.1 mph, Curve 83.2, Cutter 91.9, and Split 82.9 mph.

    2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 4.8% of the time; Sinker less than 1%; Curve 31.5%; Cutter 61.1%; and Split 2.5% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 92.4 mph, Sinker 93, Curve 82.3, Cutter 92.2, and Split 83.8 mph.

    2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 1.2% of the time; Curve 37.4%; Cutter 56.9%; and Split 4.5% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 90.6 mph, Curve 82.2, Cutter 92.3, and Split 83.9 mph.

  • Velocity is not Melancon's game.

    "It's command and execution," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said in 2015. "He executes every single pitch as well as anybody in the game, starter or closer. Greinke, Arrieta . . . anybody. He makes some very accomplished hitters look silly, the kind of swings they take. Never mind how fast it comes in—look at how fast it goes out. Nothing gets barreled."

    Exit velocity: The average exit velocity of balls put in play off Melancon in 2015 was 79 mph—8 mph below the MLB average.

    That is a noteworthy equalizer, because even when Mark's cutter velo returned to 91 mph late in the 2015 season, it was still 5 mph slower than the fastballs of the two men behind him on the NL saves leader board—the Cards' Trevor Rosenthal (48) and Jeurys Familia (43) of the Mets.

    Melancon had never posted saves on 3 consecutive days prior to the 2015 season, when he turned that trick 5 times.

    Mark pores over hitters' tendencies in the video room. He has made a science of reading swings and adjusting, often on the fly, based on his video work. He absolutely knows a batters' weakness, defensive situations that are developing, who may come off the bench to pitch-hit.

    Melancon is very reserved, humble and quiet. But on the mound, he's a totally different cat. If the ball was a knife, he would cut you—he's a very intense competitor on the mound. And it is his cutter (pun or not) that is his best weapon. It sets up hitters for the kill because, as Mark reasons, you can't hit something you can't see.

    "That pitch starts to ben three-quarters of the way to the plate," Melancon said. "So it's in the hitter's blind spot the last 15 feet. He swings where he thinks the ball will be, but doesn't really see it." (Tom Singer - Baseball Digest - January 2016)

  • Mark will throw any of his pitches at any time. He has a professional demeanor and a commanding presence on the mound.

  • The maximum effort delivery that helps create the quality power stuff also put stress on his elbow, and limits him to the bullpen.

    He smoothed out his delivery some, but it needs more smoothing to improve his command.

    Melancon works hitters up the ladder, low in the strike zone, and high in the strike zone.

  • Mark could strike out more hitters if he wanted to, but it would require more pitches. And Melancon is a bit of a throwback player where the team's success is more important than his own numbers.

    "It comes down to winning and losing," Melancon said adamantly. "That's why I don't like looking at stats. People are so wrapped up in stats, but the bottom line is winning. However you do that, it doesn't matter."

  • Melancon has a special mental makeup that separates him from most pitchers. He really does love the big pressure situations, and is unflappable. He has the ability to focus on the catcher's mitt with tunnel vision.

  • This righty pitcher is better able to retire lefthanded hitters than righthanders.

  • On May 7, 2011, Mark became the Astros' closer when Brandon Lyon went on the D.L.

    "For sure, I'm excited about it," Melancon said, back then. "In college, I was a closer, and ever since then I've aspired to be one here."

  • On April 17, 2012, Melancon faced six batters and did not retire any, giving up three home runs and walking two. He became the eighth pitcher in the past 90 years to allow three home runs without recording an out, and the first Red Sox reliever to allow a homer in three straight appearances since Terry Adams in 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

    The disastrous outing raised his ERA on the season to a staggering 49.50, and he was immediately sent to Triple-A Pawtucket.

  • In 2012, Melancon, who is laid-back by nature, made an attitude adjustment that caused a late-season resurgence on the mound.

    "Just attitude and mentality, and pitching with a little more emotion," said Melancon. "Kind of just, I've never been a person to be angry or anything, but to pitch with kind of some ... I don't know what to call it, but a little more fiery."

  • Melancon said there is nothing accidental about his comeback trail in 2013, from a 2012 season in which he had a 6.20 ERA out of Boston's bullpen.

    "I learned more about my delivery and about pitching in general in a month of (2013) spring training than I have my whole pro career," said Melancon, whose career began with his 2006 draft selection by the Yankees.

    Melancon has also been through the Houston and Boston organizations without getting the benefit of the type of instruction offered by Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage and Jim Benedict, a special assistant to general manager Neal Huntington, whose specialty is pitchers.

    "He brought awareness to some of the things in my delivery which, honestly, I haven't really yet changed," Melancon said of Benedict. "It's a work in progress, and I'm just glad I'm aware of it, so in the long run I can deal with it and be that much better."

    It's not a big thing. Just those "little tiny things" that can make a difference, like Melancon's "leg kick and the path it takes. People in the big leagues expect you to know everything and just do it," Melancon said. "There's not a whole lot of learning."

    The Pirate City School of Pitching appears to be an exception.

  • June 20, 2014: Melancon took over the closer role for the Pirates, replacing Jason Grilli, who was 0-2 with 11 saves and a 4.12 ERA in 21 games. Melancon had 33 saves in 2014.

  • In 2015, he had 51 saves. Ask Mark about what he is proudest of in his record-setting season as the Pirates' closer, and the answer is as solid as the man.

    "Being able to put the negativity early in the season behind me," Melancon said after walking off Dodger Stadium's mound with his 47th save of the season in a 3-2 win, breaking Mike Williams' club record of 46 in 2002. "There was a lot of negativity from outside sources. I'm proud of being able to know what I'm capable of, and sticking to my plan and not listening to outside sources."  (Singer - mlb.com - 9/20/15) 

  • Melancon executes his plan better than any closer in the game, probably. He knows every hitter's weakness(es) and he knows how to exploit each weakness.

  • In 2015, Melancon received the Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year award.

  • Melancon's signature pitch is his cutter. He drew inspiration from watching Mariano Rivera when he was in the Yankees' organization, but the pitch really took off for him in Pittsburgh in early 2013 thanks to a throwing session and chat with catcher Russell Martin.

    "He threw a couple, and I was like, 'Are you kidding me with this cutter right here?'" Martin said. "'This is a pitch you throw every once in a while? No, no, no. You need to get good at throwing this one pitch. It's pretty much a gold mine.'"

    Melancon's cutter isn't the only thing he took away from watching Rivera. He also keeps a poker face on the mound like Mo, according to his wife, Mary Catherine.

    "Mark is very passionate," she said. "He wants to win as much as anybody, but I know he's just not going to make a big scene. That's just how he is. He watched Mariano when he was coming up with the Yankees and really liked how he was just calm out there. Even when he finishes a save, sometimes he still looks very serious. I tell him, 'Mark, smile when you're done.' And he's like, 'No. I'm still thinking about something.'"

  • While many MLB relief pitchers have converted from starting roles, Melancon has never once started a game in his professional career, Majors or Minors. He's fine with that. He said he thinks that if he started, he'd have to spend more time preparing than actually playing.

    "Relieving is fun for me, being able to participate on a nightly basis," Melancon said. "I love coming into a tight game. The game is on the line and it can come down to one pitch. That's pretty exciting to me."

  • 2020 Season: Across 12 big league seasons, Melancon owns a 2.85 ERA and a 2.90 FIP. He's coming off a strong season in Atlanta, in which he posted a 2.78 ERA over 23 appearances.

    Melancon also brings a wealth of postseason experience, having reached the playoffs six times with a 3.72 ERA in 20 games.

  • April 2021:  Padres right-hander Mark Melancon was named MLB’s Reliever of the Month.

    Melancon converted all nine of his save chances for the Padres in April and finished the month with a 0.69 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 13 innings, receiving NL honors for his efforts. The veteran righty yielded just four hits and one walk, holding hitters to a .095 average and a .116 on-base percentage.

  • 2021 Season:   64 Gms., 64 ⅔ Inn., a 2.23 ERA, 39 Saves, 6 BS and a 1.1 fWAR.

    Cutter: 64.3% (92 mph Avg. and 94.1 mph High); Curveball: 35.7%.

    He signed a $5 million contract with the San Diego Padres for 2021, where he seemed like the Pirates-era Mark Melancon. However, after leading the National League with 39 saves in addition to a 2.23 ERA and 1.222 WHIP over 64 appearances, he declined the $5 million mutual option and became a free agent.

  • 2022 Season: The Diamondbacks acquired the veteran reliever after an impressive 2021 campaign.

    Melancon especially seemed like a major addition at the time, as he recorded 39 saves along with a 2.23 ERA with the San Diego Padres last year.

    However, the 37-year-old Melancon couldn’t replicate his success in 2022. His ERA jumped to 4.66, his groundball rate dropped from 56.4% to 44.1%, and he struggled to strike hitters out.

    He struck out 33% of batters he reached a two-strike count with. However, he struck out only 14.2% of batters overall.  (J Leandre - Oct. 15, 2022)

Fielding
  • Mark does not hold runners on base very well.
Career Injury Report
  • April 7, 2006: An MRI revealed a strained elbow ligament. He didn't need surgery, but didn't pitch anymore for the University of Arizona that spring.

  • September 2006: Melancon had to leave Hawaii Winter Baseball after just four appearances with what initially was characterized as a sore arm. He then underwent Tommy John surgery on October 31.

  • 2007: Mark spent the entire season on the D.L. rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Melancon's rehab efforts were so impressive that Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Melancon has "Derek Jeter-type makeup.”

  • May 9-17, 2017:  The Giants placed Mark on the 10-day disabled list with a mild right pronator strain.

    June 28-Aug 12, 2017: Mark was on the DL with right pronator strain.

  • September 4, 2017: Melancon decided to undergo surgery to alleviate chronic exertional compartment syndrome in his right forearm. 

  • March 26-June 1, 2018: Mark was on the DL with right elbow flexor strain. During that time, he received a regenerative stem-cell injection to treat the pronator in his uncomfortable right forearm.

  • April 29-May 6, 2022: Mark was on the IL.