MJ Melendez

MJ Melendez

25-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Kansas City Royals
2024 Fantasy Outlook
At best, you could say Melendez stagnated from his first to second season. At worst, you could say he slipped a bit, as a drop in OPS+ from 99 to 95 and a rise in strikeout rate from 24.5 percent to 28.2 percent can attest. If you're looking for a silver lining, it's that Melendez still hit the ball very hard when he made contact, boasting an average exit velocity in the 96th percentile and a barrel rate in the 75th percentile. He's also a flyball hitter and a pull hitter, things that, when combined with his quality of contact, make it curious as to how his home run total dropped. There could still be some untapped potential with Melendez, and he did finish with an .861 OPS and eight homers over the final two months. The team and ballpark context are poor, though, and he's losing catcher eligibility. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#282
ADP
$Signed a one-year contract with the Royals in March of 2024.
Sitting against southpaw
OFKansas City Royals
May 22, 2024
Melendez is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Tigers.
ANALYSIS
The lefty-hitting Melendez will head to the bench for the series finale while the Tigers bring ace southpaw Tarik Skubal to the bump. Nelson Velazquez will spell Melendez in left field.
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Batting Stats
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2024
2023
2022
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
22
2
15
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+4%
OPS vs RHP
2024
 
 
+84%
OPS vs RHP
2023
 
 
+26%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+26%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022vs Left .671 299 32 7 33 4 .246 .294 .377
Since 2022vs Right .701 992 102 31 97 6 .212 .307 .393
2024vs Left .345 29 3 0 2 0 .172 .172 .172
2024vs Right .634 126 9 4 10 2 .181 .246 .388
2023vs Left .597 144 12 3 17 3 .222 .264 .333
2023vs Right .751 458 53 13 39 3 .239 .332 .420
2022vs Left .839 126 17 4 14 1 .295 .357 .482
2022vs Right .664 408 40 14 48 1 .193 .299 .365
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+20%
OPS at Home
2024
 
 
+250%
OPS at Home
2023
 
 
+13%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+6%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022Home .753 680 80 25 87 5 .244 .322 .431
Since 2022Away .628 611 54 13 43 5 .195 .285 .343
2024Home .812 93 12 4 12 2 .256 .312 .500
2024Away .232 62 0 0 0 0 .068 .113 .119
2023Home .756 317 39 10 34 3 .253 .341 .415
2023Away .667 285 26 6 22 3 .215 .288 .379
2022Home .727 270 29 11 41 0 .229 .304 .424
2022Away .684 264 28 7 21 2 .205 .322 .362
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Stat Review
How does MJ Melendez compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.24
 
BB Rate
6.5%
 
K Rate
27.1%
 
BABIP
.222
 
ISO
.166
 
AVG
.179
 
OBP
.232
 
SLG
.345
 
OPS
.577
 
wOBA
.251
 
Exit Velocity
90.9 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
33.0%
 
Barrels/PA
6.5%
 
Expected BA
.236
 
Expected SLG
.423
 
Sprint Speed
24.4 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
39.8%
 
Line Drive %
18.4%
 
Fly Ball %
41.7%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring MJ Melendez See More
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11 days ago
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18 days ago
Marcus Semien and the World Series-champion Texas Rangers have a top-notch schedule up ahead, making them one of the teams to watch in Todd Zola's Weekly Hitter Rankings.
Latest Fantasy Rumors
Punishing baseballs
OFKansas City Royals
April 26, 2023
Melendez leads the league with an average exit velocity of 96.2 mph.
ANALYSIS
Melendez is slashing just .178/.282/.342 through 90 plate appearances, but when he's making contact he's among the most dangerous young hitters in baseball. Melendez supplied 18 homers last season and is an intriguing buy-low in deeper leagues and keeper formats.
See All MLB Rumors
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2019
Melendez gets a passing grade, offensively. As a 23-year-old rookie, he popped 18 home runs and drew 66 walks in 534 plate appearances, putting him roughly league average by wRC+. It's defensively where the questions come up. Melendez struggled behind the plate both defensively (-18 DRS) and with pitch framing. Salvador Perez is still locked in as the near-everyday catcher when healthy, so Melendez will likely see most of his time in the outfield to begin 2023. He's not a finished product with the bat, but the 2021 minor-league home run leader clears the bar in two-catcher leagues. The defensive questions leave open some playing-time downside, but the rebuilding Royals would be wise to live with his limitations and hand Melendez 500-plus PA again to evaluate his progress against big-league pitching.
Melendez bounced back from a horrific showing at High-A in 2019 (39.4 K%) to lead the minors with 41 home runs while hitting .288/.386/.625 in 123 games at Double-A and Triple-A. He had a great 39.2 Hard% along with a 14.1 BB% and a 21.7 K%. Melendez always had plus raw power, but he overhauled his swing and stance, which was the cause of his surprise resurgence. With Salvador Perez locked in as the Royals' primary catcher, Melendez is expected to get work at third base and the corner outfield spots at Triple-A, where his 70-grade arm could still add value. Kansas City has a lot of hitters vying for playing time at those positions and designated hitter this upcoming season, so it's unclear when he will be given a look as an everyday player in the majors. His power should translate whenever he gets his shot, and he should eventually make enough contact to hit for a passable batting average. The key to his long-term fantasy value will be for him to get enough starts at catcher to retain that eligibility, which could lead to him being one of the leaders in plate appearances for catcher-eligible players, assuming he is playing other positions when he is not catching.
One of the most athletic high-end catching prospects in recent memory, Melendez has plus power and should be able to stick behind the plate. He sells out for home runs at times (30.3 K%), but was still 28 percent better than the average Sally League hitter as a 19-year-old. His .241 ISO and 19 home runs ranked fourth and fifth in the league, respectively. Not only is that level of production rare for teenage catchers at Low-A, but catchers that age are very rarely even assigned to a full-season league. While he hit more balls to the opposite field (28.2%) than he did in the AZL in 2017 (22.2%), it still seems unlikely that Melendez will ever hit much better than .250 as he climbs the ladder, though that hardly excludes him from being a top fantasy catcher. He has plenty of time to improve as a receiver, and his plus arm, athleticism and ability to speak fluent English and Spanish are big marks in his favor. Look for him to debut in 2021 or 2022.
More Fantasy News
Resting Sunday against southpaw
OFKansas City Royals
May 19, 2024
Melendez is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Athletics.
ANALYSIS
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Resting against lefty
OFKansas City Royals
May 12, 2024
Melendez is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Angels.
ANALYSIS
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Racks up three hits in win
OFKansas City Royals
May 10, 2024
Melendez went 3-for-4 with a triple in Friday's 2-1 win over the Angels.
ANALYSIS
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Idle versus lefty
OFKansas City Royals
May 9, 2024
Melendez isn't in the Royals' lineup Thursday against the Angels.
ANALYSIS
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Swipes bag Sunday
OFKansas City Royals
May 5, 2024
Melendez went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base in Sunday's 3-2 extra-inning loss to the Rangers.
ANALYSIS
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