Andrés Meléndez, minor league catcher in the Cleveland Guardians organization, died suddenly in Miami on Thursday, the team announced via a statement on Twitter. He was 20 years old.
Meléndez's cause of death was not disclosed. In the Guardians' statement, the team described Meléndez as a beloved teammate and expressed support for his family and other loved ones.
R.I.P. Andrés Meléndez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, loved ones, teammates and those who knew him. pic.twitter.com/ehyrF7C7df
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) December 17, 2021
Meléndez joined the Cleveland organization in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. The Brewers also released a statement mourning the player from president of baseball operations David Stearns.
The Brewers mourn the passing of former prospect Andrés Meléndez. pic.twitter.com/BYrIF3Kxu4
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) December 17, 2021
Meléndez, born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, began his career with the Brewers in 2018 as a well-regarded international prospect. At the time of his trade, Baseball America raved about his defense, rating him as potentially elite behind the plate with a plus-plus arm and advanced game management skills.
In his first year of full-season minor league ball, Meléndez hit .247/.367/.431 with eight homers and 46 RBI in 73 games.