Following his standout career for the Texas Longhorns, former Coronado Thunderbird Ivan “The Hispanic Titanic” is moving closer to closer to the Bigs.

Veronica Gonzalez
Veronica Gonzalez

Melendez has been playing in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization with their High-A affiliate the Hillsboro Hops.  Now, the hometown slugger is moving up to the D-backs Double-A affiliate in Amarillo.

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The good news is, there’s only one more Minor League level, Triple-A, left between Melendez and the Majors. The bad news? He’ll have to spend his time in Amarillo as…I’m not making this up…a Sod Poodle.

What’s a “Sod Poodle”?

Glad you asked! I don’t know.

Baseball on the Pitchers Mound
David Lee

But, the Amarillo baseball jerseys have what appear to be prairie dogs in their logo. Based on that, I’m going to guess that “sod poodles” are prairie dogs?

(Don’t laugh TOO much. Remember how much people hated the name “Chihuahuas” when it was selected a decade ago for the El Paso MiLB team).

Speaking of the Chihuahuas, they play in the affiliated division that is one up from Double-A. If El Paso fans want to see Melendez play against the Chihuahuas, he’ll have to make it to that next level. Which seems like a sure thing.

So far this season with Hillsboro, Melendez had 18 home runs, 43 RBI and a .325 on-base percentage.  The Arizona Triple-A affiliate is Reno so Melendez could, possibly sooner than later, suit up against the Chihuahuas.

El Pasoans love their Chihuahua (despite the initial resistance to the name) but it will be understandable if some fans here turn out to cheer on the Coronado great.

Or, Amarillo is just 400 miles away…if you want to see some hard-hitting Sod Poodle action.

Sod Poodles. Really?

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