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Published On: September 29th, 2014

Northwoods League and Rawlings Announce ‘Finest in the Field’ Awards
2014 Top Defenders Rewarded for Best Fielding Percentages

(Rochester, Minn.) – The Northwoods League has announced the recipients of the 2014 Rawlings ‘Finest in the Field’ Award. The annual award recognizes the top fielders at each position. The winners are selected based on final fielding statistics compiled by league statistician Pointstreak. The 2014 Rawlings ‘Finest in the Field’ Award recipients and their field percentages are below.

Position Player NWL Team College Fielding Percentage
C Ryan Lidge Kalamazoo Growlers Notre Dame .985
1B Brendon Hayden Wisconsin Woodchucks Virginia Tech .990
2B Pat MacKenzie Waterloo Bucks Central Michigan .992
3B Brant Valach Lakeshore Chinooks Eastern Illinois .943
SS Zack Domingues Wisconsin Rapids Rafters Long Beach State .958
OF Jordan Smith Rochester Honkers Minnesota 1.000
OF Brett Siddall Lakeshore Chinooks Canisius 1.000
OF Cory Kay Thunder Bay Border Cats Missouri State .993
P J.D. Nielsen Kenosha Kingfish Illinois 1.000


The Kalamazoo Growlers had their first award winner with catcher Ryan Lidge committing only 4 errors in 42 games. Waterloo Bucks second baseman Pat MacKenzie had only 2 errors in 257 total chances to win his second consecutive ‘Finest in the Field’ award. The Lakeshore Chinooks led the league for the second year in a row with a .969 fielding percentage in 2014. Chinooks third baseman Brant Valach along with outfielder Brett Siddall were rewarded for their defensive abilities by being named ‘Finest in the Field’. Kenosha pitcher J.D. Nielsen did not commit an error in 20 chances off the mound for the first-year Kingfish.

Rawlings has been rewarding the top defenders in the Northwoods League since 2002. The recipients receive a special Rawlings baseball glove mounted on an engraved trophy base. Rawlings is the official equipment provider for the Northwoods League. To qualify for an award a player needs to appear in at least two-thirds of the scheduled games at a specific position, with the exception of catcher which is half. For pitchers, the player that had the highest total defensive chances without committing an error earns the number one spot.


The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit