WINTER HAVEN — Polk State right-handed pitcher Alec Asher and catcher Erik Hindmon were two of just nine NJCAA Division I baseball players to be honored as Rawlings Gold Glove winners by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) on Wednesday. The annual award goes to players who are recognized by coaches across the country as the nation's best defensive players in their respective positions. Asher and Hindmon are the first Polk State baseball players— as well as the first teammates at the collegiate level— to capture baseball's most prestigious defensive award.
Asher, the Eagles starter and NJCAA All-American first teamer, received the accolade after finishing his sophomore season with a perfect fielding percentage with three put outs, 13 assists and zero errors.
A fourth-round pick by the Texas Rangers, Asher paced the Eagles with 118 strikeouts this past season. He also had an opposing batting average of 0.188 and a 1.38 ERA. He turned in a team-best 13 wins, including a victory over St. Johns River State College in which he had 17 strikeouts.
Hindmon had an outstanding freshman season with the Eagles, establishing himself as one of the best catchers in the country. Hindmon did not make an error behind the plate the entire season. He finished the season with 303 put outs and 36 assists. He drove in 44 runs, stole nine bases and has a batting average of .299. Hindmon also led the country in fielding percentages with 1.000.
The Rawlings Gold Glove has been the standard for outstanding defensive play in the major leagues over the past 50 years. This year marks the sixth season for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award with the ABCA.
The ABCA All-American Committees select the Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners in their respective divisions. Every college and high school coach in the country has the opportunity to participate through his respective regional chair.
Nine players from each division (NCAA I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College I, II and III) are announced at the respective site of each division's national championship. The high school division awards are announced during the NCAA Division I College World Series.
As with the MLB award, each winner receives a Rawlings Gold Glove trophy. Each recipient's school also receives the award for permanent display.