The Legend

The Legend

Saturday, August 22, 2015


2008 Donruss Elite Mark Melancon Auto /250

I kind of figured by now that Melancon would have more in the way of high end cardboard, but other than a few parallels it is slim pickings. Now a two time All Star, Melancon has continued the nice stretch of the Pirates turning around broken arms. 

The Pirates acquired Melancon when they dealt Joel Hanrahan to Boston.  The deal has actually worked out for both teams, but probably not in the way the Red Sox imagined. Hanrahan would only work a handful of games for the Sox, but in the trade the Sox also received Brock Holt who has turned into a high end utility player. Melancon hit the ground running with the Pirates as the 8th inning guy and has been closing since Jason Grill was dealt away last summer. 

Melancon is unique in the sense he doesn't fall in the normal late inning stereotype of being a hard thrower. Instead, he relies on a cutter to induce weak contact. This style can cause a little more nervousness to the casual fan since he is not a strike out pitcher, but if you want to beat him you have to string together several hits in a row. He rarely gives up homeruns. 

I have accumulated a few of these college cards over the years. You have to be careful with some because some of the autos can either be too light or faded. 

Thanks for reading!


  1. Former Yankee Mark Melancon. He learned his cutter from Mariano Rivera back when the Yankees had a semi-youth movement (that went nowhere) going on in 2009.

    The Lance Berkman deal was a wash, but I loved how it seemed like the Red Sox lost both of the trades they made that involved Melancon. They definitely lost the trade they made to get him but manage to salvage the deal to get rid of him. 1 out of 2 ain't bad.

    1. The cutter has to be the most frustrating pitch to hit in baseball. It just looks like a crappy fastball coming out of the hand. The only time I've seen Melancon get hit hard his entire Pirate tenure was the beginning of this year when his velocity was way down and the cutter wasn't cutting. He has been lights out since June.

      It was an interesting trade by the Red Sox. Melancon's peripheral numbers were actually still right on track to career norms, but his traditional stats were a mess. The Pirates saw this plus the years of control and happily made the deal.

    2. Plus the Pirates seem to have a coaching staff that has been able to revive almost every dead arm the team got their hands on for cheap (except the rare specimen Ernesto Frieri).

    3. They failed a bunch at the beginning of this regime, but since our second collapse we have really only missed on secondary players like Jonahthan Sanchez and Lyle Overbay. It really is amazing how well they have done with guys who were on the fringe of being out of baseball.

  2. Well he's not a Yankee or Cardinal so what do you expect...