Texas slugger Ivan Melendez wins the Dick Howser Trophy


OMAHA, Neb. – Texas hitter Ivan Melendez continued to etch his name into program history on Friday, scoring another accomplishment for putting together one of the best seasons ever for a longhorn by winning the Dick Howser Trophy. Melendez, who has already been named Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s National Player of the Year, Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Year and Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award winner, joins a list of Texas legends to win the Howser Trophy since the in 1987 for college baseball’s best player.

Melendez is the fourth longhorn to win the Howser Trophy after Scott Bryant (1989), Brooks Kieschnick (1992 and 1993) and Taylor Jungmann (2011). Melendez is also the 10th Longhorn to be named a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which goes annually to the top amateur baseball player in America, and could be the first Forty Acres product to win the award when he next Friday is awarded.

Melendez has a good chance of winning the honors for the most important national player of the year, a fitting honor for the Big 12 Player of the Year and All-American first team (Collegiate Baseball, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association), whose triple home run in the first inning of a East Carolina’s 11-1 choke to win the Greenville Super Regional and advance Texas (47-20) to the College World Series was his 32nd of the season and broke Kris Bryant’s singles season in the BBCOR-era Division I home run -Record. When it comes to the all-time Division I record regardless of era, Melendez’s 32 home runs put him 13th on the single-season chart with two other players, including Mark McGwire (32 for USC in 1984 ).

With 45 career homers, Melendez is third on Texas’ career list, behind only Kyle Russell (57 from 2006-2008) and Jeff Ontiveros (55 from 1999-2002) after his home run Kieschnick (43 from 1991-1993) had overtaken the Super Regional in the first game.

Along with his 2022 home run total, Melendez entered Sunday’s leading Division I in RBI (94), slugging percentage (.888), OPS (1.404) and total bases (a school record of 213). Ahead of the team’s first game in Omaha against Notre Dame (40-15) on Friday (6 p.m. ESPN), Melendez’s .396 batting average gives him a chance to become the eighth longhorn to hit .400 or more in a season, the first since Dustin Majewski in 2002 (.401).

Melendez is also on track to break the school’s single-season slugging percentage record (0.878 set by Tom Hamilton in 1949), while currently ranked third in the RBI and on-base percentage (0.516) is in eighth place.

Melendez is the first Longhorn to claim national player of the year honors since Kody Clemens in 2018 (American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings), and he is the sixth Texas player to receive such recognition: Greg Swindell in 1986 (Collegiate Baseball), Bryant in 1989 (Collegiate Baseball), Kieschnick in 1992 and 1993 (Baseball America), and Jungmann in 2011. Melendez is the third Longhorn to serve on the Big 12 Player of the Year. .

With All-American nods from Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA making him a two-thirds consensus All-American, Melendez is one All-American honor away from having his No. 17 turn of the school is retired. Jungmann will officially be the eighth Longhorn to have his number retired in 2023, when No. 26 becomes the sixth other number on the wall and Clemens, a unanimous All-American in 2018, is in line for the eventual honor.

“National player of the year, consensus All-American,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte told Horns247 when asked about the requirements for a Longhorn athlete to retire his number after it was announced in early April that it would honor Jungmann. “It’s similar to football. You have to be Player of the Year and a consensus All-American.”

Roger Clemens (No. 21) is one of seven Texas baseball players whose number was retired along with Swindell (No. 21), Kieschnick (No. 23), Bryant (No. 25) and Keith Moreland (No. 3). is. , Burt Hooton (No. 20) and Huston Street (No. 25). While such recognition numbers will eventually come to Melendez, he has maintained throughout his historical run that he is only focused on doing what it takes to help Texas win games.

“I just have tunnel vision,” Melendez said after a 13-4 win over Baylor on April 24, where he nodded 3-4 with two home runs en route to one of his record-breaking fifth Big 12 players this week. “I mean, I get a lot [mentions] on Twitter and Instagram. Everyone sends me all these crazy stats from Longhorn history and Kyle Russell (former 28-season home run record holder) and stuff like that, but I just try not to pay attention. Our main focus is to win and I try to do that every day. If you win, we all win as a team.”

By beating the Pirates in the best-of-three Super Regional, Texas secured a ticket to Omaha for the second year in a row and for the third time in head coach David Pierce’s tenure. Texas now has an NCAA record 38 all-time trips to the College World Series and has won six national championships, the most recent in 2005.


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