The Cleburne Railroaders announced Tuesday that the contract of left-handed pitcher Mason Melotakis has been transferred to the Miami Marlins organization, becoming the fourth Railroader already to have his contract transferred to an MLB club this season.

Melotakis joins Nick Gardewine (Arizona Diamondbacks), Logan Verrett (Seattle Mariners) and Michael Mariot (Cincinnati Reds) as players — all four also pitchers — that have already been transferred to the big leagues off Cleburne's roster in 2021.

Before the Railroaders' 2021 season began, Cleburne Field Manager Mike Jeffcoat said he expected they would send at minimum a couple of players to MLB teams.

"I truly believe at least two guys will get to or get back to the Major Leagues," Jeffcoat said in May.

And with the strong rotation and bullpen the 'Roaders collected going into the 2021 campaign, MLB clubs have taken notice with the four contract transfers.

Prior to this season, only two Cleburne players have had their contract transferred to a Major League organization: right-handed pitcher Cortland Cox (Los Angeles Angels in 2017) and right-handed pitcher Steve Pastora (Milwaukee Brewers in 2019).

Melotakis quickly entrenched himself as one of the American Association’s premium late-inning relievers in 2021, posting a 1.63 ERA over the course of 10 appearances spanning 11 innings. Melotakis struck out 15, walked just two and allowed only seven hits for an opponent batting average of .167. He struck out at least one batter in all 10 outings and picked up multiple strikeouts in half of his appearances. 

Melotakis arrived in Cleburne with six seasons of professional experience, having pitched at the Triple-A level for parts of two campaigns.

A native of Grapevine, Texas, Melotakis was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Northwestern State. He recovered from Tommy John surgery to reach Triple-A with the Twins in 2017, and later with the Colorado Rockies in 2018. The 29-year-old originally signed with the Railroaders on March 20, 2020, and then again with the club on March 31, 2021. 

After an off day on Monday, the Railroaders return to action with a three-game road series at the Sioux Falls Canaries. First pitch of Tuesday’s series opener is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. as Cleburne will look to improve on its 8-10 record against a Sioux Falls team (11-7) that is in second place in the South Division, one game behind Sioux City.

For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders office at 817-945-8705, or visit the Railroaders website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.

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