June 7, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Three Lobos were selected on the second and final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft this afternoon. Junior Chris Carlson (Topeka, Kan./Kansas State) was the first Lobo selected, drafted in the 29th round (No. 862 overall) by the Detroit Tigers. Senior Nate Melek (Minnetonka, Minn./Oklahoma State) was selected in the 43th round (No. 1,289 overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays and junior Danny Ray Herrera (Odessa, Texas/Permian HS) was taken by the Texas Rangers in the 45th round (No. 1,345 overall).
Carlson, selected as a first baseman, garnered several awards including ESPN the Magazine All-Academic first team as a junior and second team as a sophomore. He is a two-time Louisville Slugger All-America first team, all-MWC first team and MWC all-tournament team selection. As a junior, Carlson hit .366 (86-for-235) with 63 runs, 79 RBI, 21 home runs, 16 doubles, a triple, 33 walks, 13 hit by pitches and 10 sac flies. Nationally, he ranked third in RBI per game (1.43), sixth in home runs (0.38 pg), 12th in slugging percentage (.743), 49th in runs (1.12 pg) and 82nd in batting average. Carlson set a new career slugging percentage at UNM (.736), tied for the fifth best career batting average (.380) and is fifth in home runs (36) in UNM history. His 21 home runs in 2006 is the third most in a season at UNM.
Melek, who only pitched at UNM for one season, made 16 appearances (all starts), throwing a complete game. He went 5-6 with a 7.77 ERA and threw 90.1 innings with 51 strikeouts. In the Mountain West, Melek ranked second in hit batters, third in starts, sixth in runners picked off (3), seventh in innings pitched, eighth in sac flies (4) and losses and ninth in walks (9) and balks (2).
Herrera, making national attention in 2006 and currently in the running for CSTV's Player of the Year honor, was placed on the Louisville Slugger All-America second team, all-MWC team and MWC all-tournament team for his exceptional performance this year. He garnered a portion of the MWC Pitcher of the Year honor, sharing in with TCU's Jake Arrietta, going 10-0 in 17 starts/appearances, throwing 128.1 innings, including three complete games with a shutout. Herrera ranked 11th nationally in wins (10) and 31st in ERA (2.24) while leading the MWC in ERA (2.24), innings pitched (128.1) and games started (17). His 17 starts ties for the second most in a single season while his 44 career starts are the third most at UNM. Herrera's 10 wins ties for the second most in a single season while his 22 career wins ties the fourth most at UNM. His perfect win percentage is only the second one at UNM in a season with at least eight decisions. He threw 128.1 innings, the second most in a single season and 294 innings in his career, the fourth most at UNM. Herrera's struck out 222 batters in his three-year career at UNM, placing him fifth all-time.
The Lobos have had at least one player selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft 13 of the last 14 straight years. The trio are the 32nd, 33rd and 34th athletes selected in head coach Rich Alday's 17-year tenure.