ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The College Baseball Hall of Fame released its inital watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award, and UNM's sophomore shortstop Jared Holley is on the list. The award is given each year to the best shortstop in the nation.
"That's awesome," Holley said. " I learned so much from Alex Allbritton last season, and I'm honored to be nominated just like he was. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for always pushing me to improve."
Allbritton, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 21st round of the 2013 MLB Draft, was on the watch list for the award last season. He had been the Lobos starting shortstop, but moved to third base midway through last season to get Holley more playing time.
A native of Chatsworth, Calif., Holley had a spectacular freshman campaign hitting .293 with a .401 on-base percentage, but he has been even better in 2014. He's hitting .317 with 24 runs and 17 RBIs while maintaining his excellent defense at short. Twice this season -- at Arizona State on Feb. 18 and vs. Jacksonville State on April 4 -- with the bases loaded he has made a diving stop, gotten to his knees and threw a runner out for the third out of the inning. Each instance saved at least two runs and helped keep UNM in the lead.
Holley, who came to UNM as a walk on, is the only player from the Mountain West on the list. Other players on the watch list include Alex Bregman of LSU and Trea Turner of North Carolina State. For a complete list of players and for the official release, fans can click here.