That part included pep talks to fight back against player homesickness, he told The Republic.
"I try to be a 24-hour guidance counselor," Melvin told The Republic. "That's part of the job. You're a guidance counselor and a father figure."
A few years earlier, it was Melvin leaving his home in Illinois to start his own professional playing career. He played seven seasons and made AA. He never made the majors.
Melvin did, however, go on to several years as a minor league coach and manager before he turned to his longer term job as a scout.
Melvin's career in baseball began in 1985, signed by independent Salt Lake of the Pioneer League out of Bradley University in Illinois.
Melvin played his first year at Salt Lake and hit .351 over 59 games. He then played 1986 at independent Kinston and hit .280
Melvin signed with the Cardinals for 1987 and played that year at single-A Springfield. He hit .292 over 115 games. He also hit 9 home runs and knocked in 69.
He made single-A St. Petersburg for 1988, then saw eight games at AA Arkansas for 1989. He then saw 74 games at Arkansas in 1990, hitting .273. He went 3 for 4 in an August 1990 game. He rounded out his career in 1991 with 34 final appearances at Arkansas.
Melvin started his post-playing career quickly, listed as hitting coach on that same 1991 Arkansas team. He moved to short-season Hamilton as hitting coach in 1992 and and single-A Springfield for 1993.
He managed at rookie Arizona in 1994, single-A Savannah in 1995 and short-season New Jersey in 1996.
He then turned scout. He first scouted for the Cardinals and, by 2012, for the Royals.
Melvin spoke with The Quincy Herald-Whig in July 2012 about scouting the summer collegiate Prospect League, including through extreme summer heat.
"These arms are tired," Melvin told The Herald-Whig, "whereas a position player, they're tired too and maybe their running times are a little bit slower, but there is no doubt the pitchers have paid a higher price with the extreme heat that we've had."
- Arizona Republic, June 24, 1994: Rookie league begins play today
- Quincy Herald-Whig, Aug. 21, 2012: Summer of the slugger
Made the Majors:1,125-36.7%
Never Made Majors:1,942-63.3%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 466
10+ Seasons in the Minors:280