From BR Bullpen
Mark David Melancon
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 215 lb.
- School University of Arizona
- High School Golden High School
- Debut April 26, 2009
 Biographical Information
Mark Melancon was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 9th round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Andy Stankiewicz for $600,000. After 2 weeks with the Staten Island Yankees, Melancon had Tommy John surgery and missed 2007.
The Boston Red Sox acquired Melancon in a trade with the Houston Astros before the 2012 season, as they completely revamped their bullpen that off-season. When a late spring training injury sidelined presumptive closer Andrew Bailey, he had a chance to step into the breach, but had a nightmarish time instead. On April 5th, he gave up a 9th-inning run to the Detroit Tigers while getting only one out to be charged with the loss on opening day. In his second outing on April 8th, he gave up 3 runs in two-thirds of an inning in the 11th and was charged with both a blown save and a loss against those same Tigers. He gave up another run in an inning of work in a blow-out win over the Tampa Bay Rays on April 13th, then on April 17th, the roof caved in completely as he allowed 6 runs to the Texas Rangers without recording a single out in an 18-3 beatdown. That put his ERA for the year at an ungodly 49.50 and he was sent down to the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox after the game to right himself. He recovered somewhat, eventually pitching 41 games for the Sox, with a record of 0-2, 6.20 and 1 save. At Pawtucket, he had no record, but 11 saves and a minute 0.83 ERA in 21 games. However, it was clear that his future was not in Boston, and on December 26th, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Ivan DeJesus Jr., Stolmy Pimentel and Jerry Sands in return for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt.
Melancon underwent a career renaissance with the Pirates in 2013, being used as the set-up man for closer Jason Grilli. Over his first 24 appearances, he gave up only 2 runs on 18 hits in 24 innings for an 0.75 ERA. Even more impressive, he had at that point struck out 25 batters while walking only one opponent ! In his next outing on May 22nd, he picked up his first save of the year when he pitched a scoreless 9th inning following a brilliant seven-inning start by Francisco Liriano and another scoreless frame by Tony Watson to preserve the Pirates' 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. He was named to the All-Star team for the first time as a replacement for injured teammate Jeff Locke, a remarkable turnaround from his previous season and a rare All-Star selection for a setup man. He took over the closer's role for a time when Jason Grilli was out but began struggling with a couple blown saves after Grilli returned and Melancon resumed his setup role. After allowing only one regular-season home run in 2013, he was victimized by Carlos Beltran in Game 3 of the NLDS.
His last name is pronounced "Muh-LAN-son"; it is of Acadian origin (i.e. from the French-speaking areas of Canada's Maritime provinces), where it is usually spelled Melanson or Melançon, although the cedilla was presumably dropped at some point in his family's travails. After the 2013 season, he went to [[South Africa]¸to conduct baseball clinics for African youth on behalf of Major League Baseball. He had had a first experience of this type a couple of years earlier when taking a cruise to New Zealand and having MLB arrange for him to conduct a baseball clinic at his request. He later served as a MLB Ambassador in China, Taiwan and Australia as well.
 Notable Achievements
- NL All-Star (2013)
- 30 Saves Seasons: 1 (2014)
- Won a World Series with the New York Yankees in 2009 (he did not play in the World Series)
 Further Reading
- Meggie Zahneis: "Melancon finds off-the-field calling a world away: Pirates closer ran baseball clinic in South Africa as part of MLB ambassadorship", mlb.com, November 18, 2014.