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Ivan Melendez gets taken in the second round of the MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks

EL PASO, Texas -- Former Coronado grad Ivan Melendez gets drafted as the No.43 overall pick in the second round of the MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"This is super special," Melendez said on MLB Network immediately after being drafted. "I've been dreaming if this since I was a little kid. It's just a dream come true, I'm just speechless at this moment I'm just very fortunate and blessed to be in this situation."

Melendez went into the draft as the 99th ranked prospect by MLB.com but experts expected him to be taken as early as late in the first round - instead it was early in the second.

His path to the big show has had quite a few turns - the Coronado grad played two years at Odessa Junior College before heading to the University of Texas. After his first year with the Longhorns, the El Pasoan was drafted in the 16th round by the Miami Marlins, but he chose instead to go back and play at Texas.

The risk, clearly paying off. In his second season with the Longhorns, Melendez earned Big 12 Player of the Year he also was crowned The Golden Spikes Award winner - the award given to the best player in college baseball.

"I'm very very proud of him because I think he had to work harder than somebody else and just knowing how he is, he put in his worth ethic," Ivan's Aunty Amanda Blake said. "We'd all get together and Ivan was always on the field getting better each day so because of all of his hard work, he definitely deserves this. He's the cities el rey, and he's our el rey."

Melendez now joins a growing list of El Pasoans to be drafted by the MLB - most recently Americas grad Darell Hernaiz who was taken in the fifth round by the Baltimore Orioles.

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Rachel Phillips

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