Johnny Bench Catchers Clinic

The Johnny Bench Award

Presented to the collegiate catcher whose talent, toughness, and integrity most closely resembled the legend after whom the award was named.


Joey Bart

Joey Bart led the ACC in hitting with a .359 average. He also ranked second in the ACC in slugging percentage (.632), third in on-base percentage (.471), third in total bases (139), fourth in hits (79), and was fifth with a team-high 16 home runs. Defensively, he posted a .992 fielding percentage, threw out 12-of-33 would-be base stealers and recorded three pickoffs. Bart, the 2018 ACC Player of the Year, is the third catcher from Georgia Tech to be named a finalist for The Johnny Bench Award and the first one to win. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants with the #2 pick in the first round.

Johnny Bench Award

The Johnny Bench Award, proudly sponsored by, is presented to the nation's most outstanding collegiate catcher, Johnny Bench, arguably the greatest catcher of all time, agreed to be the namesake for the annual award, which has accurately predicted some of MLB's next biggest stars including its most notable winner to date, Buster Posey.

Our association with Bench makes us familiar with legacies and how to fulfill big league dreams. We know looking up at a baseball immortal like Johnny Bench can be daunting. Just making it to the show might seem impossible. But each year, it happens. Promising young players make their MLB debut. So at, we just have one question: Why not you?

About Johnny Bench

Johnny Bench was named to the NL All-Star team 14 times, played in every game from 1968 to 1975, and once set a major league record for home runs by a catcher (389). He won two home run crowns, led the league in RBIs three times, and was voted league MVP twice. In 1968, Bench became the first catcher to win Rookie of the Year, catching a rookie record 154 games, and winning the first of ten Gold Gloves. If that wasn't enough, he also profoundly impacted the game. 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. In January 1989, Bench was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with the fourth highest percentage of the total votes cast.

The Selection Process

The Johnny Bench Award is presently annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher as voted on by Division I coaches.

A watch list is compiled from nominations received from the universities and released in March.

A selection committee will then narrow the list down to the semifinalists. Statistical information on each semifinalist is then compiled and sent to the national selection committee by the end of May. A vote by the national selection committee narrows the list to three finalists.

Another vote during the College World Series will determine who will be named the Johnny Bench National Collegiate Catcher of the Year. The three finalists will be brought to Wichita, KS for the awards banquet on June 28th, 2018.

2018 Finalists

Joey Bart, Georgia Tech Institute of Technology JR
Alex Holderbach, Eastern Kentucky University JR
Reynaldo Pastrana, Marshall University JR

2018 Semifinalists

Joey Bart, Georgia Tech Institute of Technology JR
Carter Bins, California State University, Fresno SO
Trevor Casanova, California State University, Northridge JR
Tyler Cropley, University of Iowa SR
Tim DalPorto, Kent State University SR
Logan Driscoll, George Mason University SO
Michael Emodi, Creighton University JR
Nick Fortes, University of Mississippi JR
Alex Holderbach, Eastern Kentucky University JR
Reynaldo Pastrana, Marshall University JR
Cal Raleigh, Oregon State University SO
Adley Rutschman, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee JR
Cesar Salazar, University of Arizona JR
JJ Schwarz, University of Florida SR
Jake Washer, East Carolina University SO
Harris Yett, University of North Carolina at Charlotte JR

Past Winners

2000 - Brad Cresse, LSU
2001 - Kelly Shoppach, Baylor
2002 - Jeremy Brown, Alabama
2003 - Ryan Carko, Stanford
2004 - Kurt Suzuki, Cal State Fullerton
2005 - Jeff Clement, USC
2006 - Jake Smith, East Carolina
2007 - Ed Easley, Mississippi State
2008 - Buster Posey, Florida
2009 - J.T. Wise, Oklahoma
2010 - Bryan Holaday, Texas Christian
2011 - Jake Lowery, James Madison
2012 - Mike Zunino, Florida
2013 - Stuart Turner, Ole Miss
2014 - Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State
2015 - Garrett Stubbs, USC
2016 - Zack Collins, Miami
2017 - Matt Whatley, Oral Roberts
2018 - Joey Bart, Georgia Tech
Matt Whatley

2017 Winner :
Matt Whatley, Oral Roberts University

2017 Finalists :
David Banuelos, Long Beach State University
Brent Diaz, Louisiana Tech University

Zach Collins

2016 Winner :
Zack Collins, Miami

2016 Finalists :
Logan Ice, Oregon State
Keith Skinner, North Florida

Garrett Stubbs

2015 Winner :
Garrett Stubbs, USC

2015 Finalists :
Kade Scivicque, Louisiana State
Matt Winn, Virginia Military Institute

Max Pentecost

2014 Winner :
Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State

2014 Finalists :
Will Allen, Mississippi
Kyle Schwarber, Indiana

Stuart Turner

2013 Winner :
Stuart Turner, Ole Miss

2013 Finalists :
Zane Evans, Georgia Tech
Mitch Garver, New Mexico

Mike Zunino

2012 Winner :
Mike Zunino, Florida

2012 Finalists :
Kevin Plawecki, Purdue
Mitch Garver, New Mexico