Connors State (Okla.) sophomore catcher Caleb Knight was recognized Thursday by the NJCAA Division I Baseball Committee as the 2016 Spalding® NJCAA DI Baseball Defensive Player of the Year.
Providing consistent leadership and performance from behind home plate, Knight proved to be an invaluable asset for Connors State throughout the 2016 season.
Directing Cowboys pitchers to the top 50 in the nation in strikeouts and making a number of defensive plays himself, Knight accumulated 340 putouts for the year. The Checotah, Oklahoma, native displayed his athleticism as well, totaling 34 assists in throwing out opposing batters laying down bunts. Falling victim to just one error during his sophomore campaign, Knight finished with .997 fielding percentage.
Serving as a constant deterrent to baserunners looking to advance, Knight ranked in the top 20 in the country in runners caught stealing. He threw out 17 of 23 runners attempting to steal for a .739 percentage.
Knight’s stellar defensive play was first recognized nationally on Tuesday when he was presented with an NJCAA DI Baseball ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award®.
Despite being recruited by his home-state Oklahoma Sooners, Knight announced in April that he will continue his collegiate playing career in the Atlantic Coast Conference with reigning national champion Virginia.