Royals' Melendez claims 2021 Joe Bauman Award
NEW YORK -- Kansas City Royals prospect MJ Melendez launched 41 home runs to claim the Joe Bauman Award as Minor League Baseball’s 2021 home run king. The award, first presented in 2002, is named for Joe Bauman, who set a then-professional record with 72 home runs in 1954 while
NEW YORK -- Kansas City Royals prospect MJ Melendez launched 41 home runs to claim the Joe Bauman Award as Minor League Baseball’s 2021 home run king.
The award, first presented in 2002, is named for Joe Bauman, who set a then-professional record with 72 home runs in 1954 while playing for the Roswell Rockets of the Class-C Longhorn League.
“It’s an honor to earn the Joe Bauman Award because I look at Minor League Baseball and the number of good hitters and it’s amazing to finish the season at the top of that list,” said Melendez. “There are so many guys that I watch and catch against throughout the season and the amount of talent in Minor League Baseball right now is incredible. It’s very humbling to be at the top of that list and I’m grateful for my teammates and coaches that pushed me throughout the season.”
Melendez began the season by hitting 28 home runs in 78 games with the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals before an August 9 promotion to Triple-A Omaha. Melendez didn’t miss a beat following the promotion, hitting 13 more homers in 44 games for the Storm Chasers.
During a 40-game stretch from July 2 through August 18, Melendez did not go more than three games without a home run, hitting 18 homers during the span. He homered twice in a game six times and homered in consecutive games five times. Melendez topped his previous career high in home runs (19 in 2018 with Wilmington) with his 20th homer on July 21 at Tulsa. He posted seven homers in May, six in June, 12 in July, six in August and seven in September/October.
Melendez, 22, was selected by the Royals in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2017 Major League Draft out of Westminster Christian High School in Miami, Florida.
Joe Bauman Home Run Award Winners
|2021||MJ Melendez||41||Omaha (AAA) and Northwest Arkansas (AA)|
|2019||Kevin Cron||39||Reno (AAA), AZL Diamondbacks (Rookie)|
|2018||Pete Alonso*||36||Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)|
|2017||A.J. Reed||34||Fresno (AAA)|
|2016||Dylan Cozens||40||Reading (AA)|
|2015||A.J. Reed||34||Lancaster (A), Corpus Christi (AA)|
|2014||Kris Bryant||43||Tennessee (AA), Iowa (AAA)|
|2013||Joey Gallo||40||Hickory (A), Arizona (Rookie)|
|2012||Darin Ruf||38||Reading (AA)|
|2011||Bryan LaHair||38||Iowa (AAA)|
|2010||Mike Moustakas||36||Omaha (AAA), Northwest Arkansas (AA)|
|2009||Mitch Jones||35||Albuquerque (AAA)|
|2008||Dallas McPherson||42||Albuquerque (AAA)|
|2007||Craig Brazell||39||Omaha (AAA), Wichita (AA)|
|2006||Kevin Witt||36||Durham (AAA)|
|2005||Brandon Wood||43||Rancho Cucamonga (A), Salt Lake (AAA)|
|2004||Ryan Howard||46||Reading (AA), Scranton (AAA)|
|2003||Graham Koonce||34||Sacramento (AAA)|
|2002||Ivan Cruz||35||Memphis (AAA)|