EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso native and Texas slugger Ivan Melendez was named Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday, for the fourth time this season and fifth time in his career.

Melendez hit .571 with three home runs and nine RBI and extended his hitting streak to a conference-best 16 games in four contests last week. The Coronado graduate did the bulk of his work on Saturday, hitting all three home runs in two games vs. West Virginia that day.

The Hispanic Titanic also went 3-3 with a pair of walks and doubles in Texas’ win over Houston Baptist last Tuesday. His work this week helped the Longhorns climb back into the Top 25 rankings at No. 22, after falling out of the polls a week ago.

Melendez has been arguably the best player in college baseball in 2022, hitting .423 with 25 home runs, 75 RBI and a slugging percentage of .940, all of which are by far the best of any hitter on Texas’ roster. It seems very likely that he’ll be on a very short list of candidates for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the best player in college baseball.

But the former T-Bird’s stats also have him ranking highly nationally, as well. Melendez’ 25 bombs are the most in the country and his slugging percentage is also the best in the NCAA. His 75 RBI are second-most, behind only fellow El Pasoan and former Eastwood Trooper Carlos Contreras of Sam Houston (81 RBI). His batting average currently ranks him fifth in the nation.

Melendez is chasing Texas’ single-season home run record of 28, set in 2007 by Kyle Russell. The most any college player has hit since the NCAA began regulating bats in 1999 is 33 by Gonzaga’s Nate Gold in 2002. With a minimum of eight games left on the Longhorns’ schedule in 2022, Melendez’ quest for both marks is something to watch.

Texas will square off with Texas Southern in a midweek showdown on Tuesday in Austin, before getting the weekend off from Big 12 action. KTSM will be in the building on Tuesday to cover Melendez’ quest to break the UT home run record.