July 5, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico outfielder Ryan Padilla earned his third Freshman All-American honor Wednesday when he was named to Baseball America's second team. He was also selected as a Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Freshman All-American.
A native of Albuquerque, Padilla finished third on the Lobos with a .353 average, five home runs, 49 RBIs, 19 doubles, a .430 on base percentage, and a .525 slugging percentage. This is just one of many honors for the right fielder this season. He was named to the All-Mountain West second team for his performance during conference play and was named the National Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association for the week of May 14-20. He also won Mountain West Player of the Week for that same period.
Padilla helped the Lobos win their first regular-season conference championship since 2000 and their second straight Mountain West Tournament championship, as well as making the NCAA regionals for the third consecutive year.
UNM head coach Ray Birmingham was impressed with the improvements Padilla made throughout the season.
"He had a lot of flaws like all high school kids have," he said. "You can get away with them in high school, but you can't get away with them at this level.
"He had a little success in the fall early, but then he didn't have any once they figured out how to pitch to him. Then he bought in. He made the changes."
Padilla is the eighth UNM player to receive Freshman All-American honors. Other Lobos named Freshman All-American include DJ Peterson (2011), Rafael Neda (2008), Jordan Pacheco (2005), Daniel Stovall (2004), Matt Young (2002), Lon Yamaguchi (1996), and Travis Young (1994).
Update: Padilla earned his fourth Freshman All-American honor this season from PerfectGame.org on July 16.