Former Hillcat Greg Allen earned the distinction of being one of only nine players in all of Minor League Baseball to receive a 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence at his position. Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., jointly announced all nine recipients Monday with Allen claiming the honor for center fielders.
Allen, who began the season in Lynchburg before being promoted to Double-A Akron July 25, recorded a .994 fielding percentage in 128 combined games. The sixth-round pick from 2014 out of San Diego State made just two errors in 332 chances and posted a career-high 15 outfield assists. Allen played his first 92 games with the Hillcats and made countless highlight-reel catches, which included diving grabs in the gaps as well as running down balls at the warning track to show off his superior range.
Allen becomes the first Hillcat to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award® since Minor League Baseball brought back the honor in 2011. The San Diego native was the table setter for the 'Cats until his promotion July 25. Despite only playing in 92 games, he led the Carolina League with 93 runs. He also recorded the highest on-base percentage at .424 and the second most stolen bases with 38. Those numbers, in addition to his defensive prowess, earned Allen recognition as both a Carolina League Midseason and Postseason All-Star.
All nine honorees were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season Minor League teams. Each player will receive his own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball's top defensive players, during the 2017 season. This marks the sixth straight year Rawlings has distributed the awards to Minor League players after a nearly 50-year hiatus.
"Congratulations to the nine outstanding Minor League Baseball players who deservedly won the 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award®," said Mike Thompson, executive vice president of marketing for St. Louis-based Rawlings. "Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings, and we knew the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® would be a popular goal for many young players when we rekindled the Minor League award platform back in 2011."
"These nine players were truly the finest in the field this summer and it is my pleasure to honor them with a Rawlings Gold Glove Award®," said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O'Conner. "These players displayed extraordinary skills at their positions this season, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment."