By Tommy Rezac
Nebraska senior infielder and starting pitcher Luis Alvarado earned preseason All-American honors for the second time in 2018, garnering third-team status from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Monday. He made the NCBWA team as a utility player.
Alvarado was named a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball on Dec. 18.
The right-hander from Puerto Rico made 16 appearances on the mound and earned a team-high ten saves for the Huskers out of the bullpen in 2017 after not pitching during his first two seasons at Nebraska.
Alvarado compiled a 1.72 ERA while striking out 15 batters in 15.2 innings last season. He went 7-for-7 in save chances during conference play to help the Huskers capture the Big Ten regular season championship.
Over the summer, Alvarado played for the Cape Cod League’s Bourne Braves, compiling 19.2 innings, 18 strikeouts, and a 0.91 ERA as a long reliever.
The longest he went in any appearance at Nebraska last year was 1.1 innings.
Nebraska coach Darin Erstad announced on Jan. 26 that Alvarado will be Nebraska’s Friday starter on the mound this season.
“I feel very strongly about that,” Erstad said. “With him being a power pitcher, I want Louie to be fresh.”
Erstad said Alvarado will still be in the starting lineup offensively, either as a DH or first baseman.
“He still likes to hit, though,” Erstad said. “He’s done a nice job, and has been a solid piece for us in our lineup for a few years. It’s hard for me to not have that bat in there. It will be a situation where I’m going to think about him first. I’m going to make sure, especially early, he’s where needs to be on the mound, because that’s where his future is at. That’s what he’s going to do at the next level.”
Offensively, Alvarado started 57 games and batted .283 with 64 hits, 12 doubles, two home runs, and 25 RBIs.
He enters his senior year with a career batting average of .275. Alvarado is a two-time MLB Draft selection, most recently being picked in the 13th round by the Seattle Mariners in 2017. He was a 33rd round pick by the Boston Red Sox in 2014.