June 15, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its All-America teams this week and three Lobos were honored. Mountain West Co-Players of the Year DJ Peterson and Mitchell Garver were named to the first and third teams, respectively, while Ryan Padilla was named to the freshman team.
This is the second All-American honor for each player this season. They were all also named a Louisville Slugger All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
Peterson, a sophomore third baseman from Gilbert, Ariz., was a Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Freshman All-American last season and a preseason Louisville Slugger All-American prior to this season. He lived up to and surpassed all expectations in 2012.
He became only the third player in history to win the Mountain West overall triple crown as he hit .419 with 17 home runs and 78 RBIs. He also led the league in hits (104), total bases (182), on base percentage (.490), and slugging percentage (.734).
A dominating force at the plate all season, he was named a semifinalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy, which are given annually to the best player in college baseball. He was also named to USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team that will play games this summer in North Carolina, Cuba, and the Netherlands. He also earned MW Player of the Week honors three times.
Garver, a junior catcher from Albuquerque, had a breakout season. He hit .377 with 10 home runs and 57 RBIs. He scored 68 runs, rapped out 101 hits, 27 doubles, three triples, and finished with 164 total bases. He led the MW in runs, doubles, at bats (268), and total plate appearances (298). He finished second to Peterson in five categories as well: batting average, slugging percentage, hits, RBIs, and total bases.
His superb season was impossible to ignore as we he was named a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award. This award was formed in 2000 to be awarded annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher based on athletic ability, sportsmanship, team leadership, and character. The winner will be named June 28.
Defensively he was outstanding. He finished with a .989 fielding percentage and threw out 39.6% of all attempted base stealers.
Padilla, an outfielder from Albuquerque, finished sixth among all freshmen in Division I with a .353 batting average. He slugged five home runs with 49 RBIs to finish third on the Lobos in both categories behind only Peterson and Garver. He also contributed 49 runs, 78 hits, 19 doubles, two triples, 116 total bases, a .430 on base percentage, and a .525 slugging percentage.
He was named the National Hitter of the Week, as well as MW Player of the Week, for games played from May 14-20. He hit .588 (10-for-17) with five runs and 10 RBIs that week as the Lobos clinched a share of their first regular-season conference title since 2000. He was also named to the All-Mountain West second team.
This is only the second time in UNM history that the Lobos placed three players on All-American teams. In 1993 Luke Oglesby, Mark Gulseth, and Antonio Fernandez were all named All-Americans.