2014 Johnny Bench Award Watch List

The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the official watch list for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com. Forty-three 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 5, 2014.

The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced May 15, 2014. 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 3, 2014. 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 17th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 26, 2014.

“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 Ole Miss catcher, Stuart Turner, with the award last June in Wichita, Kansas. Mitchell Garver of the University of New Mexico and Zane Evans of Georgia Tech were the other finalists for the award.

2014 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com Watch List

Will Allen SR University of Mississippi
Blake Austin SR Auburn University
Brett Austin JR North Carolina State University
Anthony Azar SR Sam Houston State University
Tyler Baker JR Wichita State University
Caleb Barker SR University of Houston
John Bormann JR UT San Antonio
Austin Bossart JR University of Pennsylvania
Garrett Boulware JR Clemson University
John Crummy SR Miami University
Jose Cruz SR Jackson State University
Jared Deacon SR Cal State Fullerton
Blair DeBord SR Kansas State University
Dustin Dhanani JR Alabama A&M University
Nick Dini JR Wagner College
Matt Durst JR University of Southern Mississippi
Ka’iana Eldredge SR University of Kansas
Alex Farkes SR Penn State
Mike Fischer SR Columbia University
Aramis Garcia JR Florida International University
Mitch Ghelfi SO University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Kyle Gibson SR University of Louisville
Richard Gonzalez JR Alabama State University
Grayson Greiner JR University of South Carolina
Aaron Gretz JR Ohio State Unversity
Chase Griffin JR Georgia Southern University
Taylor Gushue JR University of Florida
Sean Hagen SR Eastern Kentucky University
Chris Harvey JR Vanderbilt University
Ryan Hissey SO The College of William & Mary
Nate Irving JR University of Virginia
Connor Joe JR University of San Diego
TJ Losby SR Bowling Green State University
Tanner Lubach JR University of Nebraska
Adam Martin SR Western Carolina University
Cole Martin SR University of Michigan
Kevin Martir SO University of Maryland
Ryan Matranga SO University of San Francisco
Greg McCall SR University of Texas-Arlington
Max McDowell SO University of Connecticut
Ryan Messex JR Western Kentucky University
Levi Meyer SR Florida Atlantic University
Taylor Noyer SR New Mexico State University
Brian O’Keefe JR Saint Joesph’s University
Brian Olson JR Seattle University
Joseph Olson SO Stephen F. Austin University
Tyler Pearson SR Texas State University
Max Pentecost JR Kennesaw State University
Taylor Peterson SR University of North Dakota
Jordan Procyshen JR Northern Kentucky University
Pat Quinn SR University of Rhode Island
Alex Real JR University of New Mexico
Josh Reavis SR Radford University
Matt Reed FR Marshall University
Jamie Ritchie JR Belmont University
Daniel Rizzie SO Xavier University
Joey Roach SO Georgia State University
Mike Rosenfeld JR Duke University
Kyle Schwarber JR Indiana University
Adam Sonabend SR Eastern Michigan University
Josh Spano JR High Point University
Garrett Stubbs JR University of Southern California
Brett Sunde SO Western Michigan University
Wayne Taylor JR Stanford University
Travis Watkins SO East Carolina University
Luke Weber SR USC Upstate
Carter White JR University of Memphis
Mike Wieland SR University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
Samm Wiggins JR Houston Baptist University
Matt Winn JR Virginia Military Institute
Mark Zagunis JR Virginia Tech
Shane Zeile JR University of California, Los Angeles