COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Sophomore catcher Angel Lopez of Northampton Community College (PA) has been named the 2017 Spalding® NJCAA DIII Defensive Player of the Year. Lopez and the Spartans advanced to the NJCAA DIII World Series in 2017.
Registering some of the top numbers on both sides of the plate, Lopez threw out 20 baserunners, the second-most among all DIII catchers while allowing just 11 stolen bases. In 323 total chances on the year, Lopez committed just two errors and allowed just one passed ball.
Lopez provided a solid offensive year as well for the Spartans, recording a .411 batting average with 14 home runs and 62 RBI. Lopez's mentality behind the plate gave him an edge on the base path as the sophomore stole 14 bags on the season.
An American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings NJCAA DIII Gold Glove recipient and third team All-America selection, Lopez and the Spartans finished the season with a 35-9 record and went 1-2 in the 2017 DIII World Series.
After being selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 13th round of the 2017 MLB draft, Lopez signed a professional contract to join the 2016 World Series runners-up.
Northampton head coach Adrian Yaguez praised Lopez's maturity to lead a program from behind the plate. "Angel had a tremendous impact on our program and was a key leader in seeing our program advance to the NJCAA DII World Series. It was a privilege to watch him develop as a student-athlete and we are proud of all of his well-deserved accomplishments. We are excited to watch him chase his dream of professional baseball with the Cleveland Indians organization."
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