EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — After being selected by the Miami Marlins in the 16th round of the 2021 MLB Draft on Tuesday, former Coronado High School standout Ivan Melendez is weighing his options.
Melendez, who was ranked in Baseball America’s Top 200 prospects going into the draft, slid a bit more than the experts projected. His asking price — in terms of a signing bonus — exceeds the slot value for the 479th pick in the draft, and he has the option to return to Texas for his junior year.
“It would have to be a good amount of money to pass up my degree at UT Austin and everything I have going on down there as far as baseball goes,” said Melendez.
Melendez, who was drafted as a third basemen by the Marlins, primarily served as the designated hitter for the Longhorns last season. Batting in the cleanup spot, the El Paso native hit .319 with 13 home runs and 51 RBI in his first season of Division I baseball, but feels like he was unable to showcase himself as a complete player.
“I just feel like they’re [MLB] evaluating me on half the player I am knowing that I basically DH’d the whole season and only played six games defensively,” said Melendez. “I feel like going back to Texas would be beneficial, but we’ll see.”
Melendez, an All-Big 12 selection in the regular season, was selected to the All-College World Series team and smacked a pair of game-winning hits while he was in Omaha. He became a sensation after a massive home run was the eventual game-winning hit in an elimination game against the eventual national champion Mississippi State Bulldogs.
The plan for Melendez is to announce his decision via social media within the week, even as soon as Sunday.