The Kansas City Royals will be promoting minor league catching prospect MJ Melendez to AAA. Melendez was crushing the baseball in AA Northwest Arkansas leading all minor leagues in home runs (28). MJ is one of many prospects who have earned a promotion.
Others like Nick Pratto who is the #97 ranked prospect in all of the MLB, and the highly touted prodigy Bobby Witt Jr. is the #5 prospect in all of baseball and is the Kansas City Royals #1 overall prospect. A famous line from Shoeless Joe Jackson in the movie Field of Dreams is “if you build it, he will come” in this case General Manager Dayton Moore, and the front office of the Kansas City Royals are building a very good farm system and they are coming to no question.
MJ Melendez earning recognition?
MJ Melendez was drafted in the 2nd round by the Kansas City Royals in 2017 out of Westminster Christian School Miami, Florida. The Royals have let Melendez play at each level, and ideally, earn his way to the next affiliate.
Just like most minor league players 2020 was a different year due to the pandemic. Most minor league players were placed at an alternate site allowing them to compete against their teammates. They were also able to get more in-depth instruction from coaches.
Fast forward to the 2021 season and Melendez is putting on a clinic. For AA Northwest Arkansas, Melendez is slashing .285/.372/.628 respectfully all while leading the entire AA in home runs with 28. A stat that has been highlighted with one of those bright neon yellow highlighters is the amount of walks MJ has which is 43.
The numbers listed above along with the increase in walks show he has matured as a hitter. Melendez is also known for his ability to catch a game.
The seven time All-Star Salvador Perez
A catcher is so much more than someone calling pitches. A perfect example is the current Royals catcher Salvador Perez. Having the ability to call a game, having good rapport with his pitching staff, and crushing the baseball just a few of Salvador Perez’s abilities. It shows you why Perez is a seven-time All-Star and a five-time gold glove award winner. Salvador Perez participated in the Homerun Derby this year losing to the winner, and back-to-back champion Pete Alonso.
Can these two catchers coexist on the Kansas City Royals?
The question becomes can these two coexist on the same roster. Salvador Perez who just turned 31 will be eventually phasing out of his everyday catching role. The question is when?
With Melendez getting the promotion to AAA, this indicates the Kansas City Royals front office has confidence in his abilities. MJ will be 23 and could be in the majors as soon as 2022. Another possibility is Melendez would be a part of a packaged deal that could acquire an established major league talent. With Dayton Moore saying he would like to compete in 2022, the Kansas City Royals will have some decisions to make with their top prospects, especially MJ Melendez.