Shepherd Earns Rawlings Gold Glove Award As Top SS
SOURCE: GEORGIA SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS
After another record-setting season as an elite defender, University of Georgia junior Cam Shepherd has earned a Rawlings Gold Glove Award as the top shortstop in NCAA Division 1, it was announced by the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Wednesday.
A 6-1, 187-pound native of Duluth, Ga., Shepherd set a school record for a shortstop with an overall fielding percentage of .987. Additionally, he was perfect during the 30-game Southeastern Conference season. He tallied 235 total chances during the year with 83 putouts, 149 assists and just three errors. In SEC action, he did not make an error in 109 total chances and was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team by the league coaches.
Shepherd has started every game at shortstop the past three seasons, a streak of 180 games. In 2018 as a sophomore, he established a then UGA record for fielding percentage by a shortstop at .980, making only five errors in 248 total chances.
Shepherd is the third Bulldog in school history to be honored as a national Gold Glove recipient by the ABCA and Rawlings Sporting Goods. Outfielder Jonathan Wyatt was one of the nine inaugural winners in 2007 and first baseman Rich Poythress received one in 2008. Wyatt led all SEC outfielders with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 164 total chances. Poythress helped the SEC champion Bulldogs advance to the College World Series Finals as he recorded a .995 fielding percentage with a school record 55 assists and 535 putouts. Shepherd was among five finalists announced Monday by the ABCA/Rawlings.
In the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft earlier this month, Shepherd was selected in the 20thround by the Tampa Bay Rays. However, he has indicated that he plans to return for his senior season. Along with his stellar defense this past year, Shepherd hit .231 with 13 doubles, eight home runs and 33 RBI in 63 games.
The Bulldogs earned a National No. 4 seed, advanced to the NCAA Athens Regional Final and finished with a 46-17 record. Additionally, Shepherd has helped Georgia establish a school record for fielding percentage the past two seasons including .980 in 2019.