As a junior at Holt (Mo.) High School, Tim Melville was the Missouri High School Player of the Year. After his senior year he was ranked by Baseball America the No. 1 high school prospect in the 2008 first-year player draft, although because he had signed a Letter of Intent to the University of North Carolina, he slipped to a fourth-round pick of the Kansas City Royals, who signed him to a $1.25 million bonus.
His love for baseball has been underscored since.
Melville, at the age of 29, is now pitching for the Rockies AAA Albuquerque Isotopes, looking for another chance to prove himself in the big leagues. After opening the year with the independent League Long Island Ducks, the Rockies purchased his contract on May 3, and assigned him to Albuquerque.
He goes into his start for the Isotopes against Las Vegas on Tuesday having won his first two starts, allowing one run on four hits and seven walks, and striking out 12 in 10 innings. He worked five innings in each game.
While his pro debut was delayed until 2009 because of the contract negotiations, Melville has been with eight organizations, including the Ducks. Signed by the Royals, he also has pitched in the systems of the Tigers, Reds, Twins, Padres, Orioles and now Rockies.
And out of his 205 professional games -- 167 starts -- only six have come in the big leagues. He made his big-league debut with three games -- two starts -- for the Reds, and then appeared in one game with the Twins and two with the Padres in 2017.
In Monday's Games
AAA Albuquerque (23-22) lost 21-10 against El Paso (D-backs). Pat Dean, who came from the Atlantic League along with Melville, continued his struggles (0-3, 10.32). Dean retired five batters, giving up 12 runs, seven earned, on 10 hits and a walk, striking out one. Pat Valaika (.369) continued his AAA surge, going 3-for-5 with four RBI, three runs scored, and his 10th and 11th home runs in 84 at-bats with the Isotopes. He is three home runs shy of his career-best. Sam Hilliard (.239) hit his team-high 13th home run, and veteran catcher Drew Butera (.324) was 3-for-5 with a double and RBI. El Paso set a franchise record with 21 runs, and the the 31 runs equaled an Isotopes record for two teams in a game, which was set at Iowa on June 30, 2011.
AA Hartford (24-20) lost 4-1 to Erie (Tigers). Vince Fernandez (.296) was 2-for-4 with his 12th home run. Brandon Gold (4-3, 4.30) allowed four runs on six hits, striking out five in six innings.
High A Lancaster (22-20) was off on Monday. The JetHawks play at Inland Empire (Angels) Tuesday.
Low A Ashville (16-27) won 2-1 at Lexington (Royals). Jake Bird (2-1, 3.18) earned the win in relief, and Alexander Martinez (2.00) earned his ninth save. Willie MacIver (.253) homered twice -- in the second and ninth innings. Colten Schmidt (3.00) started and worked six shutout innings, allowing four hits and a walk, striking out seven.