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Georgia Shortstop Cam Shepherd Joins The Baseball America College Podcast

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Georgia shortstop Cam Shepherd

This week on the Baseball America College Podcast, Georgia shortstop Cam Shepherd joins Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy to talk about his decision to return for his senior season and the Bulldogs’ expectations going into 2020.

Shepherd has started every game at shortstop since arriving at Georgia and has earned a reputation as one of the best defenders in the country. He last spring didn’t make an error in a conference game game, becoming the first shortstop with a perfect fielding percentage in SEC play since it began awarding an all-defense team in 2008.

Shepherd has started every game at shortstop since arriving at Georgia and has earned a reputation as one of the best defenders in the country. He last spring didn’t make an error in a conference game game, becoming the first shortstop with a perfect fielding percentage in SEC play since it began awarding an all-defense team in 2008.

Shepherd will now return for his senior season, a decision he quickly made following the season, which came to a disappointing end for Georgia when it was upset in the Athens Regional by Florida State. He said it was a tough decision, but he felt like there was unfinished business at Georgia.

“Something in my heart was missing,” Shepherd said. “Before I tweeted it out, I was thinking, ‘What is it?’ I’ve always had two goals coming into college. One, obviously I want to play professional baseball and make it to the big leagues. But the other one was to go to Omaha.

“That was the basis of my decision. I wanted to give it one more shot to go to Omaha, and I think we have a chance to do that with this team. That’s where my heart was leading me and that’s what I decided to do. Give it one more shot and give it my best to go to Omaha.”

Shepherd and his class played a key role in Georgia’s return to national prominence. While they finished under .500 in 2017, their freshman year, they helped the Bulldogs return to the NCAA Tournament the following year for the first time since 2011 and last season earn the No. 4 overall seed.

Being a part of that revival is something Shepherd is especially proud of and now he wants to help Georgia take the next step and return to the College World Series for the first time since 2008.

“It’s been really cool to see it transform in front of our eyes and be a part of that,” he said. “My freshman year, we weren’t the best, didn’t have a great record. Going into sophomore, junior year, we really turned it around.

“That’s pretty special to be a part of. That gave me even more motivation – ‘Let’s get this team to Omaha. I’ve got one last year, let’s get to Omaha, which is the ultimate goal.’”

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On the field, Shepherd stands out most for his defense. He said Brandon Crawford, a three-time Gold Glove winner with the Giants, is the shortstop he enjoys watching the most.

Shepherd said he works hard to stay sharp defensively and takes a lot of pride in his play at shortstop.

“It’s not something that’s the most glamorous thing for people on the outside,” he said. “Most people just look at hitting statistics and that stuff. But I take a lot of pride in my defense.

“I just feel it’s all about getting good reads and a good first step. That starts with something as simple as diet, staying on top of that so I can stay quick in the field and light on my feet. Pretty much just a lot of speed and agility, try to keep my feet fast. Then you start getting into hand-eye coordination. You start mixing in feet drills and hand drills, just try to stay consistent with that sort of thing.”

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