July 5, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Former Lobo Ryan Barba became the fourth member of the 2006 team to sign a professional contract with a Major League Baseball team, committing to the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this week. He is already in Phoenix getting ready to play for the Arizona Brewers, one of Milwaukee's two Rookie League teams.
Barba is coming off an exceptional season at shortstop, turning 52 of UNM's nation-leading 75 double plays. He hit .329 (72-for-219) with 56 runs, 10 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 43 RBI, nine sacrifices and three stolen bases, starting in all 59 games. Barba led the MWC in assists (202), third in double plays (52), fifth in sac bunts (8), ninth in runs (56) and 10th in triples (3). He garnered MWC Player of the Week honors for his efforts against Utah and Arizona, including a .500 avg. (6-for-12) in four games vs. Utah (4/21-23), scoring a team-high seven runs and was a double shy of the cycle vs. Utah (4/22).
Chris Carlson and Nate Melek were the first to sign following the 2006 season. Carlson, who was drafted by the Detroit Tigers, is hitting .267 with a .489 slugging percentage for the GCL Tigers in the Gulf Coast Rookie League. Melek, drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, is pitching for their rookie team, the Pulaski Blue Jays, going 1-0 in three games. Two weeks later, Danny Ray Herrera signed with the Texas Rangers, who drafted him and sent him to start for the Arizona Rangers. Herrera has made three appearances, going 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 11 strikeouts.