Club skipper Chris Brunt is currently out of action with a knee injury and his usual replacement, Jonas Olsson, is serving a two-match suspension, which means that McAuley will captain the side against Hull City on Saturday afternoon.
"Of course it's easy for me," Mel told the club's official website.
"McAuley I think is best for us. He's calm, he's a good professional, thinks on the pitch, and he's always next to the referee.
"For the young players a good professional is the best example and McAuley is a good player and a good professional every day on the pitch and training ground."
The Baggies are currently three points above the relegation zone in 16th.