TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Arizona juniors Jason Donald and Mark Melancon have been named preseason All-America by Baseball America, the publication announced on Thursday. Donald was feted with second-team honors and Melancon with third-team recognition.
“I’m pleased for both of them,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “Jason and Mark have already accomplished so much during their careers here and the recognition is well deserved. They’re our team leaders this year and will play a huge part in our success.”
Donald, a career .306 hitter with 14 home runs and 78 RBI for the Wildcats, enters his third season at Arizona as the starting shortstop. As a sophomore in 2005 he helped guide Arizona to its third straight NCAA postseason appearance by batting .288 with five home runs and 33 RBI. As a freshman in 2004 he helped lead the Wildcats to their 15th all-time College World Series appearance by batting .322 with a UA freshman record 84 hits. Donald has started 123 games and played every inning out of a possible 124 contests during his two-year career.
Melancon, UA’s all-time saves leader with 14, is coming off a sophomore year that saw him post a single-season school record 11 saves while leading Arizona with a 2.58 ERA. He finished 2005 with 69 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings pitched and is already 10th in school history in career appearances. As a member of the national team for USA Baseball over the summer, he went 1-0 with five saves and did not give up a run in 12 1/3 innings of work.
Arizona will open its spring schedule on Feb. 3 at home against Loyola Marymount. The players are set to report back for preseason practices on Jan. 11.
2006 PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAMS
As selected by major league scouting directors
C: J.P. Arencibia, Tennessee. 1B: Matt LaPorta, Florida. 2B: Adam Davis, Florida. 3B: Wes Hodges, Georgia Tech. SS: Evan Longoria, Long Beach State. OF: Colin Curtis, Arizona State; Drew Stubbs, Texas; Shane Robinson, Florida State. UT: Joe Savery, Rice.
P: Daniel Bard, North Carolina; Ian Kennedy, Southern California; Andrew Miller, North Carolina; David Price, Vanderbilt; Max Scherzer, Missouri.
C: Brian Jeroloman, Florida. 1B: Mark Hamilton, Tulane. 2B: John Shelby, Kentucky. 3B: Matt Antonelli, Wake Forest. SS: Jason Donald, Arizona. OF: Brennan Boesch, California; Chris Errecart, California; Jon Jay, Miami. UT: Matt Wieters, Georgia Tech
P: Andrew Brackman, Norte Carolina State; Dallas Buck, Oregon State; Joba Chamberlain, Nebraska; Brad Lincoln, Houston; Kyle McCulloch, Texas.
C: Chad Tracy, Pepperdine. 1B: Aaron Bates, North Carolina State. 2B: Jim Negrych, Pittsburgh. 3B: Chris Coghlan, Mississippi. SS: Josh Rodriguez, Rice. OF: Jordan Danks, Texas; Hunter Mense, Missouri; Michael Taylor, Stanford. UT: Sean Doolittle, Virginia.
P: Jared Hughes, Long Beach State; Wade LeBlanc, Alabama; Tim Lincecum, Washington; Mark Melancon, Arizona; Brandon Morrow, California.