Padilla joins Peterson, Garver as Preseason All-American
Dec. 21, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico senior catcher Mitch Garver and junior third baseman DJ Peterson were named Louisville Slugger First Team Preseason All-America by Collegiate Baseball newspaper Friday. Joining them on the third team is sophomore Ryan Padilla. Garver and Peterson were also named first team preseason All-American by the NCBWA. This is the first preseason honor for Padilla.
Garver, a hometown product out of La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, was one of three national finalists for the Johnny Bench Award following a breakout season in 2012. He hit .377 with 10 home runs and 57 RBI on his way to earning Co-Mountain West Player of the Year honors, which he shared with Peterson. He received second team All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball, third team by both the NCBWA and Baseball America, and honorable mention from CollegeBaseballInsider.com.
“Last year was mind-blowing with all the fun we had and the team that we could produce and put on the field every day,” he said. “The awards just kept coming and it was a tribute to how hard we played and how we felt about the game. Going into this season and getting some preseason awards would be big-time because this program is just going to be on the up-and-up all the time.”
Peterson won the MW Triple Crown last season with a .419 average, 17 home runs, and 78 RBI. In addition to sharing league MVP honors with Garver, he was a semifinalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy. A Freshman All-American in 2011 and a preseason second team prior to last season, Peterson finished the year by being named to five All-American teams, including four first teams (NCBWA, ABCA, Collegiate Baseball, and CollegeBaseballInsider.com) and one second team (Baseball America).
“I want to try to repeat what I did last year except maybe do a little more, be a little better, to bring us to Omaha,” he said.
Padilla, also out of La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, was third on the Lobos last season in batting (.353), home runs (five), RBI (49), doubles (19), on base percentage (.430), and slugging (.525). He was an All-Mountain West second team performer and was named National Hitter of the Week for the week of May 14-20 when he hit .588 (10-for-17) with grand slam, five runs scored, and 10 RBI. Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball newspaper, the NCBWA, and PerfectGame.org all named him a freshman All-American.
Note: Austin Wynns, a senior catcher for Fresno State, was named to the third team and was the only other player honored from the Mountain West.