Mark Melancon
Mark Melancon
34-Year-Old PitcherRP
San Francisco Giants
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Melancon underwent forearm surgery in September of 2017 and hit the disabled list with an elbow flexor strain in March. After returning June 1, the righty posted his lowest K/9 since his 2009 rookie year and his highest BB/9 since 2010. During the second half his cutter velocity kicked back up, but Melancon will need to fix his walk rate to help offset his diminishing strikeout punch. At least Melancon still has the groundballs -- he has posted at least a 50% groundball rate in all but one big-league season. To no one’s surprise, the 34-year-old didn’t opt out of his albatross contract, which may force San Francisco to keep him hovering around the closer discussion, but even with the improved form from late in 2018, his skills don’t befit an endgamer. We'll bet on Will Smith taking the job, leaving Melancon to gather holds and vulture occasional wins in the middle innings. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants in December of 2016.
Tosses clean inning
PSan Francisco Giants
April 10, 2019
Melancon struck out a batter without allowing a baserunner over a scoreless inning in Tuesday's 7-2 win over San Diego.
Melancon has gotten off to a strong start in 2019, posting a 0.00 ERA and 0.88 WHIP through his first six appearances. The 34-year-old only has two strikeouts over that span, but the slow start in punchouts can't be attributed to diminished stuff, as his cutter is averaging a healthy 92.1 mph. Melancon will look to continue re-establishing himself from the setup role after losing the majority of the last two seasons to injury.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .290 143 31 11 38 6 1 2
Since 2017vs Right .297 195 34 12 54 11 1 3
2019vs Left .375 9 1 1 3 0 0 0
2019vs Right .174 25 4 2 4 0 0 0
2018vs Left .328 64 17 5 19 3 0 0
2018vs Right .287 110 14 9 29 6 1 2
2017vs Left .246 70 13 5 16 3 1 2
2017vs Right .362 60 16 1 21 5 0 1
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA at Home
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ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 1.90 1.22 42.2 1 2 7 8.4 2.1 0.2
Since 2017Away 5.09 1.78 35.1 1 4 7 6.4 3.3 1.0
2019Home 0.00 1.60 5.0 0 0 0 7.2 3.6 0.0
2019Away 0.00 0.50 4.0 0 0 0 2.3 2.3 0.0
2018Home 2.11 1.36 21.1 1 2 3 7.6 2.1 0.0
2018Away 4.58 1.87 17.2 0 2 0 6.6 4.6 1.0
2017Home 2.20 0.92 16.1 0 0 4 9.9 1.7 0.6
2017Away 7.24 2.05 13.2 1 2 7 7.2 2.0 1.3
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Stat Review
How does Mark Melancon compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). 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.
92.3 mph
Strand %
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Mark Melancon
Collette Calls: Final Bullpen Decisions
22 days ago
Jason Collette plays a game of blind resume with potential closers. Does Mark Melancon have a chance to close in San Francisco?
Mound Musings: Endgame Odyssey Update
22 days ago
Brad Johnson updates potential pitching opportunities and reviews bullpens with continued question marks, including where free agent Craig Kimbrel could land.
Spring Training Job Battles: Final Update
23 days ago
On the eve of Opening Day, Erik Halterman runs down the list of winners and losers in his final Job Battles update.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
26 days ago
Jan Levine kicks off the 2019 NL FAAB festivities with a thorough look at possible options, including an intriguing battle for bullpen supremacy in Arizona.
Spring Training Job Battles: Nearing the Finish Line
30 days ago
Erik Halterman checks in on all of the relevant job battles around Major League Baseball as spring training winds down.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Heading into the 2017 season, hopes were high that Melancon's reliable arm could cure San Francisco's bullpen woes. Unfortunately, a series of injuries shortened Melancon's season. Multiple trips to the disabled list with a recurring forearm and elbow injury limited Melancon to just 30 innings over 32 games, a significant decline after four straight seasons with at least 72 appearances. Ultimately, Melancon had season-ending pronator surgery in September to fix his elbow. When healthy, he wasn't as effective as he'd been previously as he picked up just 11 saves while blowing five opportunities and ended the season with a 4.50 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, his highest marks since 2012. However, bad luck could have played a role, as opponents posted a .374 BABIP with Melancon on the mound. Despite his down year, Melancon will serve as San Francisco's closer next season and should be fully healthy when spring training arrives, making him a prime candidate for a bounce-back season.
Melancon was once again dominant in 2016, and while his strikeout rate is no longer above 9.0 per nine innings, his elite cutter produces as much weak contact and as many easy outs as any pitch in the majors. He hasn't allowed a BABIP above .275 in three seasons, and a HR/9 rate above 0.47 in four. The 32-year-old right-hander didn't miss a beat after being dealt to the Nationals at the deadline, and his 98 saves over the last two seasons lead the majors. The Giants signed him to a four-year contract in the offseason, and while his lack of an overpowering fastball does cause him to get overlooked when the league's best closers get named, Melancon's track record of success is a match for anyone's. Expect him to continue his exceptional run in San Francisco.
Melancon led the majors with 51 saves in 2015, recovering from a shaky April when his fastball didn’t touch 90 mph. The 31-year-old set a club record with 35 straight saves — he blew only two save opportunities all season — courtesy of a devastating cutter. His finished with a 7.28 K/9 rate, his lowest in seven years, but the results were never better. Neither Melancon nor the team ever stated what led to his diminished velocity, but he regained speed as the season went along. So long as the reliever demonstrates impeccable command — he boasts a 203:33 K:BB ratio in three years with Pittsburgh — there’s reason to believe he’ll remain one of the top closers in the majors.
Melancon finally took over for an ineffective Jason Grilli as Pittsburgh's closer in early May and never looked back. Armed with a cutter learned from former teammate, Mariano Rivera, the 28-year-old right-hander converted 33 of 37 save opportunities and added 14 holds. The Pirates seem to like Melancon more as a setup man but really have no one better to close out games. He allowed 51 hits in 71 innings and fashioned an impressive 71:11 K:BB ratio, compiling a 1.90 ERA and career-low 0.87 WHIP. He remains ahead of lefty Tony Watson in the bullpen pecking order and the team is still finding out how to use newcomer John Holdzkom, making it likely Melancon closes again for Pittsburgh in 2015.
Melancon is expected to serve as Pittsburgh's primary setup man for closer Jason Grilli again in 2014. He collected 26 holds during the first four months before a Grilli injury gave him a chance to close, where the cut-fastball extraordinaire saved 16 games. Melancon's numbers -- 1.39 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 70:8 K:BB ratio -- show his dominance. Right-handed batters seemed to figure him out late in the year, taking his pitches opposite field to the tune of a .286 OBA. Lefties hit just .148/.168/.189 against the right-hander. Fantasy owners wonder whether Melancon's 4.22 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in September was a blip on the radar or a sign of future performance in 2014.
Melancon flamed out spectacularly in April last season and was sent to Triple-A Pawtucket before the month was over. He pitched better in his stay with the PawSox, and was eventually recalled to Boston in June. He had a sneaky good September, while closer Andrew Bailey finished poorly. Making things more interesting, Melancon was sent to Pittsburgh in December as part of the Joel Hanrahan deal. It's expected that Melancon will be the next in line for saves if Jason Grilli is unable to handle the ninth-inning role for the Bucs.
An injury to Brandon Lyon opened the door for Melancon to take over the closing duties for the Astros last season. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, but Melancon responded to the opportunity with a strong 2.78 ERA and 1.224 WHIP, while racking up eight wins and 20 saves. Melancon is an extreme groundball pitcher, posting the fourth highest groundball rate for a reliever pitching at least 70 innings in the National League last year. It's no wonder he's able to keep the ball in the park. The Astros traded Melancon to the Red Sox in December, where he'll set up for Andrew Bailey.
Melancon came over to the Astros in the deal that sent Lance Berkman to the Bronx. He has a live arm and a good mentality for the bullpen. Control has often been a problem, but continued success at making batters miss mitigates the impact. With Matt Lindstrom traded to Colorado, Melancon is one step closer to getting save chances should anything happen to Brandon Lyon this season.
Melancon carried over his 2008 success into 2009, posting a 2.89 ERA and 54:11 K:BB ratio in 32 Triple-A relief appearances. He was adequate in 16.1 innings with the Yankees, and the team still views him as a potential closer down the road because of his temperament and pitching arsenal, highlighted by a sinking fastball that can touch 95 mph and a power curve. He’ll compete for a bullpen spot with the Yankees this season.
Returning from a missed season in 2007 due to Tommy John surgery, Melancon actually came back very strong last season while starting the year at High-A Tampa and eventually finishing at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Melancon racked up 96 innings of relief over three levels and managed to improve his strikeout rate at each stop. In his arsenal, Melancon has a low-90s fastball that can still touch 95 mph along with a power curveball and a tough changeup. A set-up role at some point in 2009 isn't out of the question and he could win an Opening Day spot in the bullpen. Long term, Melancon profiles as a potential successor to Mariano Rivera as the team's closer.
More Fantasy News
Serves up two homers
PSan Francisco Giants
March 7, 2019
Melancon allowed two homers in Thursday's spring training game, both coming on 92 mph fastballs to the opposite field, Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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Mentioned in closer conversation
PSan Francisco Giants
December 12, 2018
Manager Bruce Bochy said Melancon could be in the mix for saves to begin the 2019 season, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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Takes third loss
PSan Francisco Giants
September 22, 2018
Melancon (0-3) gave up one run on one hit -- a walkoff home run -- over two-thirds of an inning to take the loss to the Cardinals on Saturday.
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Pitches scoreless eighth inning
PSan Francisco Giants
September 16, 2018
Melancon gave up a hit over a scoreless inning while striking out two in Saturday's 3-0 win over Colorado.
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Nails down third save
PSan Francisco Giants
August 26, 2018
Melancon struck out two batters and allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth to earn the save in the 3-1 win over Texas on Sunday.
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