2017 Johnny Bench Award Watch List

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2017 Watch List Released

The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the official watch list for the 2017 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com. Eighty-five catchers were nominated for the award by their coaches. Because the award is given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher, the list will be updated to include other candidates until May 1, 2017.

The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced May 17, 2017. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 5, 2017. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 20th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 29, 2017.

 “We are extremely appreciative to BaseballSavings.com and Mr. Johnny Bench for supporting this prestigious award,” stated Bob Hanson, President/CEO of the Sports Commission. “They are the ones who make all of this possible.”

While Bench is remembered for his offense, he may have had the greatest impact behind the plate. He was the first receiver to use a protective helmet in the field, popularized catching one-handed and kept his throwing hand behind his back to protect it from foul tips.

Bench’s career honors include: National League Rookie of the Year (1968); National League Most Valuable Player (1970, 1972); World Series Most Valuable Player (1976); 14-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner. In 1980, he set an endurance record by catching 100+ games for 13 consecutive seasons. Bench was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989 with the fourth highest percentage of total votes cast.

Johnny Bench presented Miami catcher, Zack Collins, with the award last June in Wichita, Kansas. Logan Ice of Oregon State University and Keith Skinner of University of North Florida were the other finalists for the award.


2017 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com Watch List

Hunter Allen   JR Alabama State University
Bryndan Arredondo  SR Lamar University
Justin Bardwell  SO Fordham University
Jared Barnes   JR University of South Alabama
Joey Bart  SO Georgia Tech
Ellis Bitar   JR Cornell University
Brett Bond   JR University of Missouri
Ben Breazeale  SR Wake Forest University
Kyle Brennan  SR University of Buffalo
Matt Byars   SR Michigan State University
Micahel Cantu  JR University of Texas
Phil Capra   SO Wagner College
Brandon Chapman  JR George Washington University
Brady Cox   SR University of Texas, Arlington
Chris Cullen   SO University of South Carolina
Michael Curry  SO University of Georgia
Nick Dalesandro  SO Purdue University
Jason Delay   SR Vanderbilt University
Dominic DiCaprio  SO Rice University
Troy Dixon   SR St. John's University
Matt Duce   JR Dallas Baptist University
Josh Ellis   SR Harvard University
Michael Emodi  SO Creighton University
Hunter Fain   SO Morehead State University
Nick Feight   JR UNC Wilmington
Justin Felix   JR Arkansas State University
Sam Ferri   FR Arizona State University
Ryan Fineman  SO Indiana University
Colby Fitch   JR University of Louisville
Ivan Gonzalez  SO West Virginia University
Tim Graul   SR University of Pennsylvania
Dempsey Grover  JR UC Santa Barbara
Austin Hale   JR Stetson University
Chris Hudgins  JR Cal State Fullerton
Brandon Johnson  JR University of Richmond
Cooper Johnson  FR University of Mississippi
Clark Kahawaii  SR Stephen F. Austin University
Scott Kapers   SO Valparaiso University
Cameron Knight  SR University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Justin Kunz   SO Gardner-Webb University
Jake Kusz   SR UNC Greensboro
Shea Langeliers  FR Baylor University
Tyler Lawrence  SR Murray State University
Brian Lees   SR Southeast Missouri State
Spencer Levine  JR Florida Gulf Coast
Ryan Lidge   SR University of Notre Dame
Blake Logan   SR Auburn University
Peyton Maddox  JR Virginia Military Institute
Phil Madonna  JR Siena College
Nick Meyer   SO Cal Poly
Dominic Miroglio  JR University of San Francisco
Joey Morgan   JR University of Washington
James Morisano  JR Saint Louis Uniiversity
Hagen Owenby  JR East Tennessee State University
Michael Papierski  JR Lousiana State University
Clay Payne   SR Belmont University
Fabian Pena   SO Manhattan College
Chris Proctor   SO Duke University
Kevin Radziewicz  JR Fairfield University
Cal Raleigh   SO Florida State University
Robie Rojas   SR Sam Houston State University
Josh Rolette   SO Kansas State University
Hayden Senger  SO Miami University
Jake Sidwell   SR Davidson College
Evan Skoug   JR Texas Christian University
Ryan Sloniger  SO Penn State
Chase Smartt   SO Troy University
Nate Soria   JR Xavier University
Deon Stafford Jr.  JR Saint Joseph's University
Logan Starnes  SR Eastern Kentucky University
Zac Susi   SO University of Connecticut
Tim Susnara   JR University of Oregon
Babe Thomas  SR Winthrop University
Joey Thomas   JR University of Cincinnati
Nick Tierno   SR University of Delaware
Zach Tondi   JR James Madison University
Gunnar Troutwine  JR Wichita State University
Daulton Varsho  JR University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Carson Waln   SR Wofford College
Travis Watkins  SR East Carolina University
Harrison Wenson  SR University of Michigan
Matt Whatley   JR Oral Roberts University
Jesse Wilkening  SO University of Nebraska
Chris Williams  JR Clemson University
Connor Wong  JR University of Hourston



March 9, 2017

Important Dates

May 1
Last day to add catchers

May 17
Announce semifinalists

June 5

Announce finalists

June 29

Award Presentation in Wichita, KS

Contact Information

Johnny Bench Award
515 S. Main, Ste. 115
Wichita, KS 67202

Title Sponsor



An official event of:
Greater Wichita Area
Sports Commission

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