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Rawlings, Minors announce Gold Glovers

Nine players honored for defensive excellence at their positions
September 28, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., announced today Minor League Baseball's recipients of the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence at their positions. The honorees were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season Minor Leagues. 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 2016 season.

"Congratulations to the nine outstanding Minor League Baseball players who deservedly won the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award," said Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of baseball 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 decided to rekindle this award platform in 2011."

"Each year, it is a privilege to recognize the top defensive players in Minor League Baseball and honor them with a Rawlings Gold Glove Award®," said Pat O'Conner, President & CEO of Minor League Baseball. "All nine of these players displayed extraordinary skills at their positions this season, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment."

The 2015 Minor League Baseball recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® are as follows:

2015 Minor League Baseball Rawlings Gold Glove Award® Winners
1B Dominic Ficociello Lakeland (A), Erie (AA) DET
2B Joey DeMichele Birmingham (AA) CWS
SS Orlando Arcia Biloxi (AA) MIL
3B Matt Dominguez Fresno (AAA), Colorado Springs (AAA) TOR
LF Cord Sandberg Lakewood (A) PHI
CF Trey Martin Myrtle Beach (A) CHC
RF Aaron Altherr Reading (AA), Lehigh Valley (AAA) PHI
C Carson Kelly Palm Beach (A) STL
P Ty Blach Sacramento (AAA) SF

First baseman Dominic Ficociello posted a .996 fielding percentage in 102 games between Lakeland and Erie. A third-year pro out of the University of Arkansas, Ficociello made only four errors in 979 chances at first base. Ficociello, 23, was selected by Detroit in the 12th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Birmingham second baseman Joey DeMichele registered a .985 fielding percentage in 135 games for the Barons. The fourth-year pro out of Arizona State University recorded 665 total chances and was a part of 91 double plays. DeMichele, 24, was selected by the White Sox in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Biloxi shortstop Orlando Arcia recorded a .978 fielding percentage in 123 games for the Shuckers. Arcia, 21, had 585 total chances and turned 82 double plays. The Venezuela native was signed by the Brewers as a non-drafted free agent in 2010. Arcia also saw action at second base for the Shuckers, appearing in three errorless games.

Third baseman Matt Dominguez split the season between Fresno and Colorado Springs and posted a .990 fielding percentage in 106 games at the hot corner. Following the season, Dominguez, 26, was claimed on waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was originally selected by the Florida Marlins in the first round of the 2007 draft out of Chatsworth (CA) High School.

Lakewood left fielder Cord Sandberg recorded a .983 fielding percentage in 120 games for the BlueClaws. Sandberg had 232 chances and recorded 13 assists. Sandberg, 20, was a third round pick of the Phillies in the 2013 draft out of Manatee (FL) High School.

Myrtle Beach center fielder Trey Martin, 22, made 102 errorless starts for the Pelicans and added five assists. The fifth-year pro was originally selected by the Cubs in the 13th round of the 2011 draft out of Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia.

Right fielder Aaron Altherr split the season between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but was perfect in 107 games in the field, recording 279 chances and eight assists without committing an error. Altherr, 24, was selected by the Phillies in the ninth round of the 2009 draft out of Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Arizona.

Palm Beach backstop Carson Kelly posted a .996 fielding percentage in 104 games behind the plate for the Cardinals. The converted third baseman, in just his second year as a catcher, threw out 36 percent of base stealers (31 of 55) and allowed just six passed balls in 920.1 innings. Kelly, 21, the Cardinals' second round pick in 2012 out of Westview High school in Portland, Oregon, made just three errors, with all three coming on errant throws.

Sacramento right-handed pitcher Ty Blach posted a perfect fielding percentage on 53 chances over 165.1 innings pitched in his 27 starts for the River Cats. Blach, a third-year pro out of Creighton University, was the Giants' fifth round choice in 2012.

To be eligible to receive the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, players must have participated in one of the 10 domestic-based, full-season leagues, and shown outstanding defensive skills. The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® was re-introduced to Minor League Baseball in 2011 after an almost 50-year hiatus.