Mark Melancon

Mark Melancon

37-Year-Old PitcherRP
Arizona Diamondbacks
2022 Fantasy Outlook
Melancon doesn't fit the typical closer profile, but he led the majors with 39 saves in 2021, elevating him to fourth place among active relievers with 244 career saves. He was one of the best relievers in baseball in March and April, but faded down the stretch for the Padres and finished with his worst walk rate (3.5 BB/9) in 12 years. Melancon didn't miss many bats with a 22.3% K% and 8.9% SwStr%, but still finished with a respectable 2.23 ERA and his 56.4% ground ball rate that ranked in the top 15 among qualified relievers. After his productive age-36 season, Melancon declined his $5 million mutual option with San Diego to become a free-agent and quickly signed a two-year, $14 million deal with Arizona in December. He's by far the most experienced high-leverage reliever on the Diamondbacks and is the favorite to close, just don't bet on him leading the league in saves again with the team still rebuilding. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#141
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Diamondbacks in December of 2021. Contract includes $5 million mutual option ($2 million buyout) for 2024.
Remains closer
PArizona Diamondbacks
May 17, 2022
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said Monday that Melancon remains the team's closer, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
ANALYSIS
Recent performances prompted Lovullo to review Melancon's work, which included three losses and a blown save over a one-week stretch. "Melancon's our closer," Lovullo said. "If you look at the full body of work, he's saved seven games for us. He's had some hiccups. Every closer has them." It should be noted that Melancon has converted seven of eight save chances, and the worst of his results have come when pitching in non-save situations.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
13
Last 10 Games
13
Last 5 Games
12
How many pitches does Mark Melancon generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Mark Melancon generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-30%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-50%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-47%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-44%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2020vs Left .203 175 29 15 32 5 0 1
Since 2020vs Right .291 241 45 22 62 6 0 5
2022vs Left .227 25 2 2 5 0 0 1
2022vs Right .455 36 2 3 15 1 0 0
2021vs Left .150 109 24 9 15 4 0 0
2021vs Right .285 156 35 16 39 5 0 4
2020vs Left .333 41 3 4 12 1 0 0
2020vs Right .186 49 8 3 8 0 0 1
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-25%
ERA on Road
2022
 
 
-100%
ERA on Road
2021
 
 
-41%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-36%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2020Home 3.43 1.36 60.1 5 6 34 5.2 3.4 0.6
Since 2020Away 2.58 1.28 38.1 1 3 23 9.2 3.3 0.5
2022Home 10.24 2.38 9.2 0 5 5 1.9 4.7 0.9
2022Away 0.00 0.75 2.2 0 0 2 6.8 0.0 0.0
2021Home 1.77 1.06 40.2 3 1 25 6.6 2.9 0.7
2021Away 3.00 1.50 24.0 1 2 14 10.9 4.5 0.4
2020Home 3.60 1.60 10.0 2 0 4 2.7 4.5 0.0
2020Away 2.31 0.94 11.2 0 1 7 6.2 1.5 0.8
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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.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in 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.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
0.80
 
K/9
2.9
 
BB/9
3.6
 
HR/9
0.7
 
Fastball
91.1 mph
 
ERA
8.03
 
WHIP
2.03
 
BABIP
.382
 
GB/FB
1.92
 
Left On Base
46.6%
 
Exit Velocity
84.0 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
1.7%
 
Spin Rate
2365 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
29.3%
 
Swinging Strike
8.5%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
Melancon provided another great reminder that the closer role is not always about who has the best stuff. Melancon led Atlanta with 11 saves, not because he had the best stuff, but because he had been there before. His 14.7 K% from last season is dangerously low for a closer, and the fact the league hit .306 off his primary pitch (the cutter) is not a good sign. Yet, they hit just .167 off his secondary pitch (curveball), and he allowed one home run the entire season. The batting average and the 7.4 K-BB% are big red flags for his 2021 potential, meaning any closer role he may land as a free agent this winter may not last long. His expected stats in 2020 offer some optimism given his xBA off that aforementioned cutter was 70 points better than his actual outcome. Still, there are obvious risks here given how reliant he is on batted-ball fortune.
Melancon avoided the injured list in 2019 after two seasons of poor health, but since the Giants were committed to Will Smith as their closer, the 34-year-old was largely off the fantasy radar until he was dealt to Atlanta on July 31. From thereon, Melancon turned back the clock, bringing stability to a shaky bullpen by converting all 11 of his save chances and posting a 3.86 ERA that belied stellar underlying numbers (2.16 xFIP, 24.7 K-BB%, 63.5 GB%). The peripherals were on par with those from his three All-Star seasons, and should be enough to give him the first crack at opening 2020 as the Braves' closer. However, he'll face a familiar competitor for the gig in Smith, whom Atlanta inked to a three-year deal in the offseason. Since Smith has displayed the superior skills of the two for much of the past two seasons, Melancon will need to show early on that his late-2019 flourish wasn't a flash in the pan.
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.
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
Role being evaluated
PArizona Diamondbacks
May 16, 2022
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said discussions are ongoing about Melancon remaining the team's closer, Jose M. Romero of The Arizona Republic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Takes fifth loss
PArizona Diamondbacks
May 14, 2022
Melancon (0-5) took the loss during Saturday's 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Cubs, allowing three runs on two hits and two walks while failing to record an out.
ANALYSIS
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Rebounds for seventh save
PArizona Diamondbacks
May 13, 2022
Melancon saved Friday's 4-3 victory over the Cubs, retiring the side in order in the ninth inning.
ANALYSIS
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Having cutter issues
PArizona Diamondbacks
May 12, 2022
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said Melancon is having issues commanding his cutter, but he'll remain the team's closer following Wednesday's 11-3 loss to Miami, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports. Melancon (0-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on three hits and one walk over two-thirds of the ninth inning.
ANALYSIS
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Bounces back for sixth save
PArizona Diamondbacks
May 9, 2022
Melancon earned the save against the Marlins on Monday, allowing one hit in a scoreless ninth inning.
ANALYSIS
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