EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Texas Longhorns superstar Ivan Melendez has received a lot of awards for his 2022 season, but the one received on Wednesday was perhaps the most personal.

Melendez was honored by El Paso City Council, as the city named the month of July, 2022, “Ivan Melendez Month” in his honor. The city will also light the Franklin Mountain star tonight in his name.

“I am honored and blessed to be recognized by the City of El Paso,” said Melendez. “It means a lot knowing I have a strong support system back home with everyone rooting for me. It cuts the pressure I already have and it’s easier to go out, compete and have fun.”  

Melendez became the first player in Texas history to win the Golden Spikes Award in 2022, leading all of college baseball in home runs (32) and RBI (94), all while helping the Longhorns back to the College World Series for a second year in a row.

“It was my honor to place the item on the agenda to recognize the month of July as ‘Ivan Melendez Month,’” said City Representative Henry Rivera, District 7. “Ivan makes his hometown proud every day and we will continue to stand behind him and support him as he goes on to attend the MLB Draft in two weeks.”  

After Texas’ season came to an end last month, Melendez went on a Golden Spikes victory tour, first to Arlington, Texas, then to New York City where he made multiple appearances on MLB Network and met with league executives.

The Coronado graduate is back in El Paso for the week, before he leaves for Los Angeles to continue training before the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft. As KTSM reported last week, he has been invited to attend the MLB Draft in-person July 17-19 in L.A., as well as the MLB All-Star Game and Home Run Derby which is being held at Dodger Stadium at the same time as the Draft.

Rated as the 99th-best overall prospect in the 2022 MLB Draft by MLB.com, Melendez told KTSM on Wednesday that he’s been told he could go much higher than that. A 16th round pick in the 2021 draft by the Miami Marlins, this is precisely why Melendez chose to come back for the 2022 campaign at Texas.

“I’m hearing top two rounds, late first, early second,” Melendez said. “Worse comes to worse, late second, but we’re hoping to go as high as we can. I definitely bet on myself and it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made in my life. It’s paying off, just knowing that I invested in myself and it’s going to pay off.”

According to MLB.com, every selection in the first two rounds of the 2022 Draft have a signing bonus “slot value” of at least $1 million. If Melendez were to be drafted where he’s currently rated as a prospect – 99th overall, in the third round – the signing bonus slot value is $617,200.

Having graduated from UT in May as an all-time Texas great, Melendez said he’s ready to put in the work to help himself get to the Major Leagues.