LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky junior Ryan Ritter officially is the best defensive shortstop in college baseball.
Ritter has been crowned the winner of the 2022 ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove award, which honors the top defensive players in college baseball at each position, it was announced Wednesday. He was one of three finalists for the honor.
Ritter, a junior from the Chicago area, earlier was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Defensive Team as he continued to put on daily displays of his defensive wizardry at shortstop. He also added 24 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases.
He becomes the sixth player in UK history to win the award, joining fellow shortstop Ryan Wilkes (2008), P Corey Littrell (2012), OF Austin Cousino (2013 and 2014), P Dustin Beggs (2016) and 1B Evan White (2016 and 2017).
Ritter has made a name for himself with a defensive highlight reel that has helped him become one of the top Major League Baseball draft prospects this summer. He is projected to go in the top three rounds next month.
Ritter has a .972 career fielding percentage in 431 chances. He had a .978 fielding percentage with only five errors in 225 chances in the 2022 season.
Kentucky’s last Gold Glove winner was first baseman Evan White in 2016 and 2017, who went on to win the MLB Gold Glove in 2020. White was the first rookie first baseman in either league to win a Gold Glove since the award began in 1957.