JOHNNY BENCH AWARD

WINNERS AND NEWS


2017 COLLEGE CATCHER OF THE YEAR

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MATT WHATLEY

·    ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY

·    DRAFTED BY THE TEXAS RANGERS IN THE 3RD ROUND

Finalists

  • David Banuelos, Long Beach State
    • Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 5th round.
  • Brent Diaz, Louisiana Tech
    • Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 29th round.

Previous Winners

  • 2000 – Brad Cresse, Louisiana State University

  • 2001 - Kelly Shoppach, Baylor University

  • 2002 – Jeremy Brown, University of Alabama

  • 2003 - Ryan Garko, Stanford University

  • 2004 - Kurt Suzuki, Cal State Fullerton

  • 2005 - Jeff Clement, University of Southern California

  • 2006 - Jake Smith, East Carolina University

  • 2007 - Edward Easley, Mississippi State

  • 2008 - Buster Posey, Florida State University

  • 2009 - J.T. Wise, University of Oklahoma

  • 2010 - Bryan Holaday, Texas Christian University

  • 2011 - Jake Lowery, James Madison University

  • 2012 - Mike Zunino, University of Florida

  • 2013 - Stuart Turner, University of Mississippi

  • 2014 - Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State University

  • 2015 - Garrett Stubbs, University of Southern California

  • 2016 - Zack Collins, University of Miami


Active Prospect

These catchers are recent recipients of the Johnny Bench Award and currently regarded as potentially major league players for their respective organizations. Follow them on their journey to the big leagues.

Chicago Sun Times

Zack Collins, 2016

Photo by Chicago Sun Times

CHI White Sox #7 Prospect

After helping the Hurricanes reach the 2015 and 2016 College World Series, Collins finished his first professional baseball season landing in Double-A. With slugging potential and patience at the plate, this #6 All Catchers prospect looks to improve his backstop abilities to MLB caliber.

Houston Chronicle

Garrett Stubbs, 2015

Photo by Houston Chronicle

Hou Astros #8 Prospect

Stubbs made significant improvements at the end of his collegiate career to batting average and stolen bases, as well as being named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the year. His athleticism behind the plate with plus arm strength makes him a versatile option for the reigning World Champions organization.

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Max Pentecost, 2014

Photo by Getty Images

TOR Blue Jays #8 Prospect

Max became the highest overall pick our of his college program history at #11, and is aghitting his way through the Blue Jays system despite shoulder injuries. He is among a crop of players the Toronto organization looks to roll out in 2019 with fellow top prospects Guerrero Jr. and Bichette.