UNLV baseball has a long history of producing major league talent. With 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, four regular-season conference championships and three tournament championships, the Rebels have had more their share of success.
Here’s the Review-Journal’s list of the five best baseball players in UNLV history.
5. Mel Stottlemyre Jr. — RHP, 1983-84
He only played one full season as a starter for UNLV, but for several years Stottlemyre’s 1984 season was the greatest mound performance in Rebels history. The son of former New York Yankee Mel Stottlemyre Sr., he went 13-6, hurling eight complete games and 155 ⅔ innings — second all-time during a single season in program history — while striking out 125 batters.
4. Bryson Stott — IF, 2017-19
The All-American shortstop and current starting second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies played three incredibly successful seasons at UNLV. Stott, who prepped locally at Desert Oasis, was named the Mountain West Player of the Year in 2019 before being taken in the first round of the MLB draft.
He hit .356 during his final season at UNLV. His 79 hits led the team. He also had 10 home runs, 36 RBIs, 55 walks and 65 runs scored.
3. Ryan Ludwick — OF, 1997-99
One of only three players whose number has been retired, Ludwick spent three seasons as a Rebel. His time at UNLV was filled with accolades, including freshman All-American honors and two All-Western Athletic Conference selections.
During his junior season, Ludwick led UNLV with 90 hits, 13 home runs, 69 RBIs, 155 total bases, 47 walks, 70 runs scored and 19 stolen bases. The former Durango outfielder’s 43 career home runs rank fourth in UNLV history.
2. Donovan Osborne — LHP, 1988-90
A first-round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1990 draft, Osborne is all over the UNLV record books. He was a three-time first-team All-American.
Osborne’s 35 wins are tied for first in program history. He pitched 32 consecutive scoreless innings in 1989 — arguably the single greatest pitching season ever at UNLV — tossing three complete- game shutouts during that campaign. Osborne is third all-time in innings pitched (402), second in career complete games (24), and tied for first in career shutouts (4), compiling 358 strikeouts.
1. Matt Williams — IF, 1984-86
It’s hard to imagine Matt Williams’ three-year run at UNLV will ever be matched. He’s the program’s all-time home runs leader (58), second in RBIs (217) and third in runs scored (223). Williams hit three home runs in a single game on three separate occasions. During his final year at UNLV, he slugged .758.
The All-American shortstop, who’s No. 15 was retired by UNLV, went on to play 17 seasons in MLB.
Honorable mentions: OF Eric Nielsen (2002-04), RHP Erick Fedde (2012-14), OF Kyle Isbel (2016-18), LHP Herb Pryor (1971-73, 1978), RHP Kenneth Elsee (1979-80)