Ivan Melendez Named Forty-Fourth Golden Spikes Award Winner

Melendez is the first Longhorn to win the Golden Spikes Award

OMAHA, Neb. – Texas’ Ivan Melendez was named the 44th winner of the Golden Spikes Award tonight in a live presentation during the College World Series Special on ESPN. Created in 1978, the Golden Spikes Award honors the top amateur baseball player in the United States based on their athletic ability, sportsmanship, character, and overall contribution to the sport.

Melendez is the first Longhorn to win the award in the program’s heralded history. Texas boasts the second-most Golden Spikes Award finalists all-time with 11 and is one of three schools to have a finalist in 11 different seasons. He is just the fourth player from the Big 12 Conference to win the coveted award and the first since Alex Gordon (Nebraska) took home the trophy in 2005. Jason Jennings (Baylor) also won the award in 1999, as well as Robin Ventura (Oklahoma State) in 1988.

“Ivan Melendez put together a season to remember for baseball fans,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “He became one of the most feared hitters in college baseball this year thanks to consistent and staggering power numbers, and he made every at-bat a must-see event. We are honored to celebrate Ivan and his record-breaking accomplishments by naming him our forty-fourth Golden Spikes Award winner.”

Melendez finished his redshirt-junior season leading the nation in home runs (32), RBIs (94), slugging percentage (.863), and total bases (214), as well as landing in the top 10 in three other offensive categories: hits (96), on-base percentage (.508), and runs scored (75). He broke Texas’ regular-season home run record in the championship game of the Big 12 Tournament after launching his 29th homer of the year. Melendez followed that up by breaking the BBCOR-era home run record set by fellow Golden Spikes Award winner Kris Bryant in 2013 with his 32nd during the Greenville Super Regional.

A consensus All-America selection, Melendez helped lead the Longhorns to Austin Regional and Greenville Super Regional titles, as well as their second-consecutive College World Series appearance and the third in the last four complete seasons.

Melendez was named the Big 12 Player of the Year after leading the Big 12 in six offensive categories: batting average (.421), home runs (28), RBIs (85), on-base percentage (.531), slugging percentage (.941), and OPS (1.472). Additionally, he earned conference Player of the Week a record five times throughout the regular season.

Melendez joins a group of past winners that include Kevin Kopps (2021), Adley Rutschman (2019), Andrew Vaughn (2018), Brendan McKay (2017), Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), and David Price (2007).

Golden Spikes Award winners have had tremendous success in the Major Leagues. Of the 43 previous winners, six earned Rookie of the Year honors, including Lewis in 2020. Additionally, three have won the Cy Young award, three were named MVP, and 11 have won a World Series championship as a player or manager, combining for 18 championships. Nineteen previous winners have also been named to at least one All-Star Game roster as a player or manager, combining for 59 total selections.

The award winner was selected through the distribution of ballots to a voting body consisting of national baseball media, select professional baseball personnel and USA Baseball staff, and the previous winners of the award, totaling a group of more than 150 voters. Fan voting continued to be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2022 and contributed to the voting total.

Golden Spikes Award Winners:

  • 2022: Ivan Melendez - Texas
  • 2021: Kevin Kopps - Arkansas
  • 2019: Adley Rutschman - Oregon State
  • 2018: Andrew Vaughn - California
  • 2017: Brendan McKay - Louisville
  • 2016: Kyle Lewis - Mercer
  • 2015: Andrew Benintendi - Arkansas
  • 2014: A.J. Reed - Kentucky
  • 2013: Kris Bryant - San Diego
  • 2012: Mike Zunino - Florida
  • 2011: Trevor Bauer - UCLA
  • 2010: Bryce Harper - Southern Nevada
  • 2009: Stephen Strasburg - San Diego State
  • 2008: Buster Posey - Florida State
  • 2007: David Price - Vanderbilt
  • 2006: Tim Lincecum - Washington
  • 2005: Alex Gordon - Nebraska
  • 2004: Jered Weaver - Long Beach State
  • 2003: Rickie Weeks - Southern
  • 2002: Khalil Greene - Clemson
  • 2001: Mark Prior - Southern California
  • 2000: Kip Bouknight - South Carolina
  • 1999: Jason Jennings - Baylor
  • 1998: Pat Burrell - Miami
  • 1997: J.D. Drew - Florida State
  • 1996: Travis Lee - San Diego State
  • 1995: Mark Kotsay - Cal State Fullerton
  • 1994: Jason Varitek - Georgia Tech
  • 1993: Darren Dreifort - Wichita State
  • 1992: Phil Nevin - Cal State Fullerton
  • 1991: Mike Kelly - Arizona State
  • 1990: Alex Fernandez - Miami Dade CC
  • 1989: Ben McDonald - LSU
  • 1988: Robin Ventura - Oklahoma State
  • 1987: Jim Abbott - Michigan
  • 1986: Mike Loynd - Florida State
  • 1985: Will Clark - Mississippi State
  • 1984: Oddibe McDowell - Arizona State
  • 1983: Dave Magadan - Alabama
  • 1982: Augie Schmidt - New Orleans
  • 1981: Mike Fuentes - Florida State
  • 1980: Terry Francona - Arizona
  • 1979: Tim Wallach - Cal State Fullerton
  • 1978: Bob Horner - Arizona State