Texas Longhorns slugger Ivan Melendez wins USA Baseball Golden Spikes award
AUSTIN (KXAN) — A season for the record books just got a little more memorable for Texas Longhorns first baseman Ivan Melendez.
College baseball’s national leader in home runs was honored with another postseason award, perhaps the most prestigious of all when USA Baseball presented him with the Golden Spikes Award on Friday. The award honors the best amateur baseball player in the country, and considering the year Melendez had to help the Longhorns qualify for the Men’s College World Series, there’s no question he was the best player in the country. .
He is the very first Longhorn to win the award in 44 years. Arkansas pitcher Kevin Kopps won the award last year.
“Ivan Melendez has delivered an unforgettable season for baseball fans,” said USA Baseball’s Paul Seiler. “He’s become one of college baseball’s most feared hitters this year with consistent, staggering power numbers, and he’s made every at-bat a must-watch event.”
Melendez’s 32 home runs not only broke a Texas record for most in a season, but also broke the national record set by Kris Bryant in 2013, just two years after bat restrictions went into effect. of BBCOR. Melendez also led college baseball in RBIs with 94, an .863 hitting percentage and 214 total bases. He finished in the top 10 in several other offensive categories such as on-base percentage (.508), hits (96), and runs scored (75). He finished the season with a .387 batting average.
Melendez was not only a consensus All-American, but he was also the consensus Player of the Year with accolades from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Baseball America, D1Baseball.com and Perfect Game.
The redshirt junior was drafted in the 16th round by the Miami Marlins last year, but opted to stay another year in Austin. Current draft prospect rankings have him all over the map. Baseball America has Melendez at No. 51 on its list of top draft prospects while MLB Pipeline has him at No. 115. The MLB Pipeline rankings are much more critical of Melendez’s defensive ability, giving him a rating of 40 out of 60, while Baseball America gives it a rating of 55 out of 60.
The 2022 MLB Draft is scheduled for July 17-19, and several college and high school players will be selected by professional teams in a 20-round event.