AUSTIN, Texas (KTSM) – In what felt like a foregone conclusion, but is an immense honor regardless, Texas first baseman Ivan Melendez was named a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award on Wednesday.

Given out annually to the best player in college baseball, it is the sport’s version of the Heisman Trophy in college football. The El Paso native and Coronado High School graduate was one of three finalists for the award, alongside Oregon State pitcher Cooper Hjerpe and Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada.

The winner will be announced on June 24 on ESPN during the “College World Series Special” at 6 p.m. CT. Melendez is the 10th Longhorn to be named a Golden Spikes finalist and the first since Kody Clemens in 2018.

If he wins, he’d be the first UT player to win the Golden Spikes and only the second player from a school in the state of Texas to do it, joining Jason Jennings of Baylor (1999).

“I’d definitely be honored if I did win the award,” Melendez told KTSM in an interview in Austin last month. “But, we still have a lot of games, a lot of season left, a lot of postseason to be played so I think we’re gonna have a chance to win (the national championship).”

Melendez is having one of the best seasons any hitter has had in recent memory in college baseball. He leads the nation in home runs (30), RBI (90), OPS (1.417) and total bases (204). His .404 batting average also ranks in the top 10 in the country, as does his on-base percentage of .522.

When he hit his 30th home run of the season on Sunday in an Austin Regional-clinching win over Air Force, Melendez became the first player since Kris Bryant in 2013 to eclipse 30 home runs in a season. Coincidentally (or maybe, not so coincidentally), Bryant won the Golden Spikes Award that year.

What’s more, Melendez is just the fourth player since 2003 to achieve that feat and the first in a Power-5 conference with 30 or more bombs since 2000. He broke the Texas single-season record for home runs and was named Big 12 Player of the Year, as well as the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Year and a Bragan Slugger Award finalist.

On Thursday afternoon, Melendez was named one of five finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, also given to the nation’s best player by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

For the Dick Howser Trophy, Melendez is joined on the finalists list by Hjerpe and Parada, as well as Tennessee third baseman Try Lipscomb and Clemson third baseman Max Wagner.

On top of all of that, Melendez has helped No. 9 Texas to the Super Regionals for a second year in a row. The Longhorns will play No. 8 East Carolina in the Greenville (NC) Super Regional beginning Friday at 10 a.m. MT on ESPN2.

Melendez and the Longhorns hoping to make it back to the College World Series for a second straight year and the 8th time in program history.