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No. 9 Baseball’s Melendez wins 2022 Dick Howser Trophy


OMAHA, Neb. – No. 9 Texas Baseball’s Ivan Melendez has been named the 35th recipient of the 2022 Dick Howser Trophy presented by The Game Headware, recognizing him as college baseball’s player of the year in 2022.

Melendez leads the country with 32 home runs, 94 RBI, an .886 slugging percentage and 209 total bases. He became Texas Baseball’s home run king with 32 blasts this season, surpassing Kyle Russell’s 28 homers in 2007 for the program record. The 32 home runs are the most in the BBCOR era, surpassing Kris Bryant’s 31 homers in 2013.

The El Paso, Texas, product is fourth nationally with a .516 on-base percentage and 16th with a .396 batting average. In Big 12 Conference play Melendez batted .432 with 14 home runs and 32 RBI, slugging 1.000 with a .538 on-base percentage.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior from Coronado High School, also is the fourth Longhorn (five times) to nab this national honor since 1992.

Pitcher-first baseman Brooks Kieschnick, who is still the only repeat winner in Howser Trophy history in 1992 and ’93, first baseman-pitcher Scott Bryant in 1989 and pitcher Taylor Jungmann in 2011 preceded the consensus first team All-America first baseman and leader of a Texas program that reached the College World Series for an NCAA-record 38th time.

The announcement of the honor was made at a national news conference at Charles Schwab Park – site of the NCAA World Series June 17-26/2, Friday after extensive national balloting by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Melendez won the honor over an All-America group of ’22 Howser Trophy finalists: Oregon State starting pitcher Connor Hjerpe, Tennessee 3B Trey Lipscomb, Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada and Clemson 3B Max Wagner.

A Florida native, Dick Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State (1957-58), then head coach of the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a Major League player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, he returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser.

The Dick Howser Trophy not only honors a player with some of the best ability nationally, but it also is based upon the tenets of – leadership, moral character and courage. The top draft choices for the upcoming Major League Baseball free agent draft usually are among the Howser Trophy finalists, but this is not a criterion for the eventual winner.

NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport’s only college media-related organization, founded in 1962. The NCBWA has been the voting mechanism for the Howser Trophy annually since 1998.

The Howser Trophy was created in 1987 shortly after Howser’s death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, OF, Miami (Fla.), 1987; Robin Ventura, 3B, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, 1B-P, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, P, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, P, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, UT-P, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, C, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, 1B, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, P, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, OF, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, 1B, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, UT-P, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, 1B, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickie Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007; Buster Posey, C, Florida State, 2008; Stephen Strasburg, P, San Diego State, 2009; Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice, 2010; Taylor Jungmann, P, Texas, 2011; Mike Zunino, C, Florida, 2012; Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego, 2013; A.J. Reed, DH-P, Kentucky, 2014; Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas, 2015; Seth Beer, OF, Clemson, 2016; Brendan McKay, DH-P, Louisville, 2017; Brady Singer, P, Florida, 2018; Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State, 2019; No Award, COVID-19, 2020; and Kevin Kopps, P, Arkansas.

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