Kentucky baseball featured one of the country’s top shortstops this past season.
On Tuesday night, the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings announced that Wildcats’ shortstop Grant Smith has been named one of three finalists for this year’s Gold Glove Award. Smith, who spent his first three college seasons at Incarnate Word before transferring to UK last offseason, was credited with just three errors in 244 chances during the 2023 campaign. The Albuquerque, NM native also helped create 34 double plays for the ‘Cats.
If Smith were to win the award, he would become the second straight Kentucky player to take home the honor. Former Wildcat shortstop Ryan Ritter won the award in 2022. This year’s winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 21 via Twitter by Rawlings (@RawlingsSports).
Joining Smith as a finalist are Alabama senior Jim Jarvis and Arizona junior Nik McClaughry. Among that trio of shortstops, Smith posted the highest fielding percentage (.988), which helped Kentucky set a school record in that statistical category with a team fielding percentage of .984.
On offense for the ‘Cats, Smith batted .281 on the season across 61 games played (all starts). He registered 58 hits and eight home runs. Smith still has one more year of college eligibility remaining and is expected to spend that in Lexington for the 2024 season.