Hjelle was also named 2018 Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-Central Region First Team and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-Central Region First Team.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – University of Minnesota Crookston baseball player Reed Hjelle (Jr., 1B, East Grand Forks, Minn.) became the first player in program history to earn American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Central Region Position Player of the Year honors as announced Wed., May 23. Hjelle was also named ABCA/Rawlings All-Central Region First Team at first base. Hjelle has earned placement on three All-Central Region Teams. Hjelle was also named 2018 Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-Central Region First Team and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-Central Region First Team.
Hjelle is the first person in school history to earn three All-Central Region First Team nods. He joins former Golden Eagle Kenny Perez as the only two players in school history to earn All-Central Region accolades. Perez was selected D2CCA All-Central Region Second Team and NCBWA All-Central Region Second Team as a designated hitter in 2016. Hjelle is the first player in Minnesota Crookston baseball history to earn All-Region Player of the Year honors from any publication or association.
Hjelle is now in consideration for All-America accolades from ABCA/Rawlings, D2CCA and NCBWA. No Minnesota Crookston baseball player has ever earned All-America honors. Anthony Stewart (Sr., OF, Oak Harbor, Wash.) is the only player in school history to earn a nationwide honor as he earned the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove last season.
Hjelle was the first Minnesota Crookston student-athlete to earn NSIC Player of the Year honors for baseball as announced May 8 by the league office. He finished an impressive junior season by hitting .436 on the season with 38 runs scored, 19 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs and 50 RBIs. Hjelle led the NSIC in batting average (at least 100 at-bats), hits, doubles, home runs, total bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He was second in the league for RBIs and triples. Hjelle was at the top of his game in NSIC play as he hit .389 with 11 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 22 RBIs. He was a two-time NSIC Player of the Week selection. In addition, Hjelle earned NCBWA Central Region Player of the Week March 16 after hitting .643 with nine runs, four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 14 RBIs in seven games during Minnesota Crookston's trip to Florida for spring training baseball. Hjelle finished the season ninth in NCAA Division II for batting average, 18th for hits, 16th for total bases and 18th for slugging percentage.
Hjelle has one more season left with the Golden Eagles. He is competing this summer for the as Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League, one of the premier collegiate summer wood bat leagues. He has been a three-year starter for Minnesota Crookston. In his career, Hjelle has 205 hits, 109 runs, 39 doubles, 11 triples, 17 home runs and 114 RBIs in his career. He is first all-time for home runs, doubles, and RBIs.
The Chair of the ABCA NCAA Div. II All-America & Coach of the Year Committee is Rudy Garbalosa of Lynn University. Also on the committee are Jim Gantt (Catawba College), Rick Giannetti (Dominican College), Matt Jones (Shippensburg University), Rob Penders (St. Edward's University), Kyle Poock (Winona State University), Jamie Detillion (Grand Valley State University) and Randy Betten (Cal Poly Pomona).
The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 9,600 members represent all 50 states and 25 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth. The 75th annual ABCA Convention will be held Jan. 3-6, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.