ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico senior outfielder Chase Harris was named the District VIII Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Friday, joining a list of 11 of the best collegiate players in the nation.
A native of Boise, Idaho, Harris led the Lobos in virtually every offensive category in 2014: average (.377), at bats (247), hits (93), triples (5), home runs (8), RBIs (63), slugging (.539) and on-base percentage (.432). The only categories he didn't lead in -- runs (46), doubles (11) and stolen bases (13) -- he finished second in. He also started every game in right field and batted third in all 58 contests.
He ranks eighth in the nation in hits and RBIs per game (1.09) and played excellent defense for UNM, finishing with four outfield assists. His performance earned him All-Mountain West first team honors as well as a spot on College Sports Madness All-America fourth team.
Joining him as fellow district players of the year are A.J. Reed, the SEC Player of the Year; Max Pentecost, a finalist for both the Dick Howser Trophy and Johnny Bench Award; Kyle Schwarber, also a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award and the fourth overall pick in this year's MLB Draft; Casey Gillaspie, the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and also a first-round draft pick this year; Corey Furman, who was an All-Patriot League performer; Mike Alexander, an All-MEAC honoree; Brendan McCurry, a finalist for the Stopper of the Year Award; Aaron Nola, the SEC Pitcher of the Year and a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy; and a pair of Oregon State teammates, Michael Conforto and Ben Wetzler, who are both finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy.
District VIII consists of schools in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Montana.
Harris is waiting to hear his name called in the MLB Draft, which began Thursday with the first two rounds.
"I think he'll go in the top 10 or 15 rounds," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "He's a very toolsy player, and he plays his butt off every game."
That means Harris's name will likely be called sometime on Friday (rounds 3-10) or Saturday (rounds 11-40) on MLB.com.