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Mark Melancon
Birthdate: 3/28/1985 (31 y, 11 m, 24 d)     Bats/Throws: R/R     Height/Weight: 6-2/215     Position: P
Drafted: 2006 June Amateur Draft - Round: 9, Pick: 28, Overall: 284, Team: New York Yankees
Contract: $62M / 4 Years (2017 - 2020)
RotoWire News: Melancon will join his fellow countrymen in the World Baseball Classic, joining Team United States for its semifinal matchup against Team Japan, CSN Bay Area reports. (3/19/2017)
Profiles:  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  (Click Year to Expand / Close)
Profile: Four years of extremely effective relief work bought Melancon four more years of job security and the intense scrutiny that a record-setting contract solicits. Since usurping Pittsburgh's closer role in 2013, he ranks fourth in WAR, third in ERA, second in innings pitched, and first(!) in win probability added (WPA) among qualified relievers. He has been the perfect blend of durability and reliability, and, for $62 million, the Giants likely expect nothing less. In this day and age, when high-strikeout relief arms come a dime a dozen, Melancon's meager strikeout rate doesn't inspire much optimism. His age (32) only serves to compound the concerns. But he's a ground ball machine who suppresses quality contact — hence, the excellent batting average on balls in play (BABIP) allowed — and hates giving away free bases. In other words, not many hitters reach base against him, which is, you know, a great way to not give up runs. And he doesn't have to rely on velocity to succeed. Although the ground ball rate is trending in the wrong direction, Melancon should still fare well in baseball's most pitcher-friendly ballpark. The strikeouts prevent him from entering the elite tier of closers, but his volume and efficacy at least keep him in that discussion. He's a top-five closer. (Alex Chamberlain)

The Quick Opinion: Melancon's middling strikeout rate leaves something to be desired, yet it hasn't prevented him from being arguably the game's most valuable closer the last four years. His aversion to free passes, fly balls, and DL stints make him one of the game's most reliable ninth-inning options.

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