UNM Baseball's Recruiting Class Includes Six Players Drafted by MLB
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  07/21/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

July 21, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico baseball team has completed its 2011 recruiting class. The 2011 class was rounded out after the completion of the season with the signing of three more players (John Pustay from Colorado Springs, Colo.; Sam Wolff from Rapid City, S.D.; Wallace Gonzalez from Covina, Calif.) to the Lobos' baseball team.

Head Coach Ray Birmingham and his staff have brought in some of the nation's best players from around the country and from the state of New Mexico. Dating back to the fall, UNM has received 14 national letters of intent from John Pustay, Sam Wolff, Wallace Gonzalez, Cory Slater, Nico Slater, Joshua Melendez, Ryan Padilla, Stephen Carabajal, Chris Nunez, Alex Real, Omar Gomez, Brandon Ward-Hersee, Shane Zaruba and Arturo Maltos-Garcia.

"This should be another nationally ranked class," coach Birmingham said. "We're going after the best in the country and are still sweating the pros taking them."

A look at the future Lobo players that signed NLI's:

•John Pustay OF 5-11, 180 R/L Colorado Springs, Colo. (Pine Creek HS/ College of Southern Nevada) 
Pustay was a four-year starter in center field at Pine Creek High School. Batted .609 with 14 HR's and 20 stolen bases in his senior season. Named first-team all state, all conference and all league. Was named the 2010 Athlete of the Year by his hometown newspaper, the Colorado Springs Gazette. He graduated with a 3.5 GPA and was part of the Athletic Leadership Council. Was drafted in the 37th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Texas Rangers. Most recently played for the College of Southern Nevada.

Coach Birmingham on Pustay: "He brings what you need with the new bats and also has good speed. He has good experience and is a plus defensive outfielder."

•Sam Wolff RHP 6-1 170 R/R Rapid City, S.D. (College of Southern Nevada)
Wolff was named first-team all-state as a shortstop and pitcher at Stevens High School in Rapid City, S.D., during his junior season. Was named pitcher of the year in both his junior and senior seasons and hitter of the year in his junior season. Had a 0.43 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 55 innings pitched his senior season. Spent his freshman season at the University of San Diego and his sophomore season playing for the College of Southern Nevada. Posted a 6-4 record with a 4.40 ERA to go along with 74 strikeouts in his sophomore campaign. Wolff was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 47th round of the 2011 MLB draft.

Coach Birmingham on Wolff: "He is a big-time pitching prospect with a big-time arm. He has great character and is a great person and student."

•Wallace Gonzalez 3B/1B/OF R/R 6-5, 235 Covina, Calif. (La Puente Bishop Amat HS)

Was a two-sport athlete at Bishop Amat High School. Was named to the all-state underclassmen team as a freshman. Named to the all area and all-Sierra League teams for football and baseball his senior year. Gonzalez was named tournament MVP of the national classic this past summer and was invited to tryout for the USA team as well as the Perfect Game National Showcase. Gonzalez was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 29th round of the 2011 MLB draft.

Signees from the fall:

•Cory Slater 3B/RHP R/R 6-2, 205 Jupiter, Fla. (South Fork HS)
Coach Birmingham on Slater: "He is a plus baseball player and a great shortstop. He has a good arm and can hit the low 90's."

•Nico Slater SS/RHP R/R 6-0 200 Jupiter, Fla. (South Fork HS)
Coach Birmingham on Slater: "He has a 96 mph arm. Definitely a plus player."

•Joshua Melendez SS/C R/R 6-0, 185 Chandler, Ariz. (Gateway CC)

Batted .360 with 31 RBIs and 54 runs scored. Melendez was second on Gateway CC in total hits and doubles with 82 and 11 respectively.

Coach Birmingham on Melendez:"He is the best JUCO hitter out of Arizona and I'm excited to have him."

•Alex Real C/3B 6-1, 215 R/R Anthem, Ariz. (Boulder Creek HS)
Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 48th round of the 2011 MLB draft.

Coach Birmingham on Real: "He's one of the best players in Arizona, if not the best! Big time player and person."

•Ryan Padilla LHP/OF 6-4, 205 L/L Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)
Coach Birmingham on Padilla: "He has been on my radar since he was a ninth grader. I think with his years at UNM he will improve to a very high draft status and probably top five draft pick. He'll be an impact player on the mound and at the plate."

•Stephen Carabajal LHP/OF 6'2"-175 L/L Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)
Coach Birmingham on Carbajal: "He has the ability to be an impact pitcher and impact hitter. He eventually will be one of many lobos in MLB."

•Chris Nunez OF 5'11"-170 R/R Roswell, N.M. (Goddard HS)
Drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 48th round of the 2011 MLB draft.

Coach Birmingham on Nunez: "I coached against Chris Nunez's dad and I thought he was a great player. I think Chris will be even greater. He also has big draft capabilities and he runs a 60-yd. dash in 6.6 seconds."

•Omar Gomez OF 6'0-175 L/R El Paso, Texas (Burges HS)
Coach Birmingham on Gomez: "He is an unbelievable player. He has been clocked at 6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash. He has power for a small frame."

•Brandon Ward-Hersee RHP 5'8"-160 R/R Albuquerque, N.M. (Lamar JC)
Coach Birmingham on Ward-Hersee: "He is another talented New Mexico kid, who has a big league slider and 90 mph stuff."

•Shane Zaruba RHP 5'11"-195 R/R Longmont, Colo. (Lamar JC)
Coach Birmingham on Zaruba: "He has a big league breaking ball, big league velocity and a blue collar attitude."

•Arturo Maltos-Garcia RHP 6'0-190 R/R Brush, Colo. (Lamar JC)
Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB draft.

Coach Birmingham on Maltos-Garcia: "This kid has the potential to be as good if not better than Willy Kessler."