ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - It may be a day late but it counts still the same.
Danny Collier, the Mountain West Freshman of the Year in 2014, was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Friday after a clerical error inadvertantly left him off the initial list released Thursday.
"Danny is a cool story for me because he's a walk on," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "He's going to end up being another New Mexico kid who's one of the best hitters in the country and a professional draft pick."
A product of Sandia High School in Albuquerque, Collier scored 20 runs and drove in 20 more while hitting .353, which was the seventh highest mark by a freshman in the nation this season. He started 33 games for the Lobos and reached base safely in all but one of those contests.
"At the end of the season he was playing very well," Birmingham said. "Even when he got out he was hitting the ball hard. (At the Mountain West Tournament) in Las Vegas he lined out to everyone but the guy selling popcorn. He's one of the top freshman hitters in the nation. And as the season went along his defense kept improving, and his speed is great. He makes things happen."
Collier missed 20 games this season, mostly due to a hamstring issue that kept him out of 13 contests in April and May. When he was on the field, though, he was a sparkplug at the top of the Lobo lineup. He recorded multiple hits in 14 of his 38 games played and reached base safely in 26 straight at one point. He also led UNM in outfield assists with five, two of which came in the Mountain West Tournament.
"He is another great in a long list of New Mexico kids," Birmingham said. "He's up there with guys like Dusty Young, Jordan Pacheco and Mitch Garver."
This is the fourth straight season a Lobo has earned Freshman All-America honors: DJ Peterson led the nation and set an NCAA freshman record with 32 doubles in 2011, Ryan Padilla hit .353 with 49 RBIs and a .525 slugging percentage in 2012, Sam Haggerty was named Co-Freshman of the Year and finished 18th in the nation with 47 walks in 2013.
Collier is the 10th Lobo all-time to be named a Freshman All-American. In addition to those above he joins Travis Young (1994), Lon Yamaguchi (1996), Matt Young (2002), Daniel Stovall (2004), Pacheco (2005) and Rafael Neda (2008).
Collier was one of three MW freshman on the list, joining Trenton Brooks of Nevada and Tyler Jones of Air Force. He is playing for the Victoria HarbourCats in the West Coast League alongside fellow lobos Carson Schneider and Preston Ryan this summer.