The sixth place finisher in the Italian Baseball League Telemarket Rimini has signed infielder Juan Esteban MELO. The 31-year-old is from Bani, Dominican Republic.
His biggest accomplishment in his career up to now was an eleven-game stint at the big league level with the San Francisco Giants in 2000. He got one hit and one RBI in 13 at-bats.
Besides this short period on the Major League level, MELO spent most of his career in the minors. He signed 1990 with the San Diego Padres and celebrated his minor league debut 1994 at the age of 17 in the Arizona League. He went on to play 1258 games over the course of twelve seasons for the Padres, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Rockies and Nationals organizations. He had an overall batting average of .282 (OBP .324/SLG .409).
He played for three teams in 2007. He hit .239 (.305/.346) in 54 games for Harrisburg (Nationals AA-club) in the Eastern League. He had a batting line of .262/.303/.369 in 20 games with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the Northern League. His best stint last season was with St. George in the Golden League, batting .330 (.385/.670).
MELO won the batting title with an average of .318 (.399/.375) in the Dominican Winter League this Offseason. He was the starting third baseman in 49 games for the Estrellas de Oriente. He later went on to play for the Tigres del Licey in the Caribbean Series, going 0-12 in four games.
With his big experience he will definitely help Rimini. He is still in his prime years and should be a force for the club during their run for the playoffs in the IBL after missing them last year.