Card: 2005 Topps #674
"The biggest difference on the field in AA was the pitchers. In Single-A, you'll see guys who can hump up and throw 98 MPH, but in AA when you see those guys, everything has a lot of movement. The pitchers don't groove you 2-0 or 3-1 fastballs like they do in Single-A, so you can't just guess fastball. You have to trust your hands more and rely on your instincts and plate discipline to make sure you don't get yourself out." - Kevin Melillo (Melissa Lockard, 11/11/2005, 'FROM THE INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUES: KEVIN MELILLO')
Melillo was born on May 14, 1982 in Orlando, FL, to Joanne and John Melillo. He attended the University of South Carolina, where he played second base for four years (although he was redshirted his freshman year).
Kevin was the second baseman for the US in the 1998 World Youth Championship. He hit .429 with 15 hits (second on the team to Chris Patrick) as the US won their first World Youth Championship. His 11 runs tied Casey Kotchman for third behind Michael Hollimon and Tony Richie. In 2003, he was named to the Atlanta NCAA Regional All-Tournament team and in 2004, he was named to the Columbia NCAA Regional All-Tournament team.
Melillo was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 5th round (157th overall) in the 2004 baseball draft. Melillo signed nine days after the draft, and was assigned to the Vancouver Canadians, Oakland's A-Short Season team for the 2004 season. In 2005, he was advanced to the Kane County Cougars, the team's Single-A affiliate. After 78 games, he was bumped up to the Stockton Ports, the Single-A Advanced team, where he hit .400. After 22 games, he was promoted again, this time to the Double-A Midland RockHounds in the Texas League. He remained with Midland for the 2006 season, hitting .280. During this time, he played almost entirely at second base, with five combined games at first base, shortstop, and outfield.
In 2007, Melillo was promoted to Triple-A Sacramento River Cats. On June 24, 2007, he made his major league debut against the New York Mets, as a pinch hitter for pitcher Jay Marshall. Leading off the top of the eighth, Melillo was walked by Guillermo Mota in his only major league plate appearance and game. He became the first player since John Paciorek in 1963 to draw a walk in his only major league game. The next day, he was optioned back to Sacramento.
Thereafter, Kevin played in the minor leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates and LA Angels of Anaheim where he played first base and outfield as well as second base, retiring in 2011. After retiring, Kevin became the Robotic Spine Surgery - Strategic Spinal Technologies Manager for Mazor X Stealth Edition, in North Carolina, with his wife Lauren (also an athlete) and their family.
He and Oscar "Ski" Melillo are the only major leaguers (through 2021) with the last name Melillo.
Kevin is part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop
All Kevin’s baseball cards can be seen at TCDB
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