Hops’ Ivan Melendez hits for cycle

Ivan Melendez smiles after being selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 43rd pick of the 2022 MLB baseball draft, Sunday, July 17, 2022, in Los Angeles.(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Ivan Melendez of the Hillsboro Hops’ and currently Arizona’s number seven prospect hit for the cycle Friday night in their game against the Everett AquaSox. It wasn’t officially announced until after the game when they corrected a statistic. The error they made initially was a double that was changed to a triple. Something notable about his cycle is how it was the first cycle by a Hops player at home. With his recent play last week, he earned High-A Player of the Week honors. In last week’s games, Melendez piled up an average of .393 and put up 11 hits including two home runs and on-base plus slugging percentage of 1.214.

Melendez was drafted by Arizona in the second round of the 2022 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of Texas at Austin. In 2022, he played four games in the Arizona Complex League (ACL) before moving up to Arizona’s California League Low-A affiliate, the Visalia Rawhide for 25 games. In 87 at-bats for the Rawhide, Melendez had an average of .207 with 18 hits including three doubles, one triple and three home runs. He had 11 runs scored along with eight RBIs and reached base 10 times on walks. Melendez had an on-base percentage (OBP) of .349 and an on-base plus slugging percentage of .717.

On Friday night, the triple that he hit was a one-hopper to the right field fence for his first of the season. Going into Wednesday night’s game against the Tri-City Dust Devils Melendez is having his best season so far of his minor league career. He has an average of .283 in 184 at-bats, 28 runs scored, 52 hits including 16 doubles, one triple and 14 home runs. He also has 36 RBIs, three stolen bases and has reached base 18 times on walks. He has an OBP of .370 and an OPS of .979.

The Hops are known for moving prospects up to higher levels of the minor league ranks and eventually up to the major leagues. With the way Melendez is playing, if he stays consistent, it should only be a matter of time until he’s promoted to the next level. It’s clear that Diamondbacks’ General Manager Mike Hazen and his scouting staff have a knack for finding and developing young raw talent. If Melendez can be consistent with his play and others contribute on a good level as well, it should only be good times ahead for the Diamondbacks organization.

Derek Harper

Sports Reporter at the Kentucky New Era Newspaper covering everything from preps to college and even professional sporting events around the region.

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