Nailing down games began early for Melancon

Pirates right-hander got first taste in saving success at University of Arizona

Mark Melancon, RHP, Pirates
Hometown: Arvada, Colo.

Mark Melancon has been finishing games for a while.

The right-hander, who has assumed the full-time closer role for the Pirates this season, set the single-season saves mark at the University of Arizona, picking up 11 in 2005. Melancon also once held the all-time saves mark at the school with 18, but both records have since been passed.

Melancon became a Wildcat by way of Arvada, where he attended Golden High School. He played football and basketball as well as baseball at Golden High, and he was drafted by the Dodgers in the 30th round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.

Melancon did not sign, however, and the Yankees selected Melancon in the ninth round of the 2006 Draft.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.