Welcome to The Official Website of Johnny Bench
For two decades, the Johnny Bench Award was presented to college baseball’s top NCAA Division I catcher. The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission created the award in 2000, and in 2019 was brought by Johnny to the Cincinnati Reds for an expanded program.
The award now includes a top college softball winner, as well as regional, "Reds Country", high school baseball and softball honorees from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. All winner are recognized in the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Candidates are assembled from direct online submissions, All-State rosters, other award nominations and state athletic association recommendations. An awards committee determines a group of finalists based on statistics and support from local sources from each state. Johnny hand picks the winner.
To nominate a high school catcher for the 2023 Johnny Bench Awards, click the link below. All nominated catchers will be asked for their complete statistics at the end of the season in May 2023.
Thank you to our presenting sponsor, MSA Sport.
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Jordyn Rudd lead her team in batting average, became the first player in conference history to be named First Team All-Big Ten for 3 years in a row and was named National Defensive Player of the Year by Softball America. Among her accomplished career, she especially caught the attention for Johnny Bench’s award program as a fellow Rawlings Gold Glove Award catcher, the first recipient of the award, with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage out of 459 chances and 16 runners caught stealing.
Following his Freshman All-American season, Parada started all 60 games in his sophomore campaign on his way to being a Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy finalist. As the All-ACC First Team catcher, he led the league in home runs, RBIS, runs and total bases, which also ranked in the TOP 10 across college baseball. Parada joins 2018 Johnny Bench Award winner, Joey Bart, as the second catcher from Georgia Tech to be named to this college catcher of the year program.
Delaware Hayes High School
Myaih excelled on both sides of the plate with a .605 batting average, 1.767 OPS and 1.000 field percentage. She was named to First Team All-State, Central Ohio Sports Awards’ Super 12 Team and is recognized as the OCC Player of the Year. She will attend Fairmont State University.
Lincoln County High School
Only the second high school sophomore to win the Johnny Bench Award, Josie Bird is already a 2x First Team All-State softball player and was named this past school year’s Gatorade Player of the Year for West Virginia Softball. She threw out half of stolen base attempts and had 7 pickoffs.
Oldham County High School
Kayley named to the Kentucky’s All-State team after 3x All-Conference and 3x All-Academic. She finished Top 10 in the state for doubles and RBIs while maintaining at .996 fielding percentage. “The best catcher in the state”, says Coach Leanhart, will be playing for the University of Evansville.
Gibson Southern High School
Brenna has twice been named an Indiana’s Miss Softball Finalist, 2x First Team All-State, 2x High School Heisman winner. She graduates with zero stolen bases allowed in her final season with a 27-4 record and a 3.9+ GPA. Brenna will attend Belmont University.
Shakamak High School
Oscar maintains a reputation amongst both coaches and teachers for his character and work ethic. A 3x All-Conference baseball player, he received an All-State nod during his final season with 48 RBIs and 1.412 OPS to go with 12 runners caught stealing. He will be attending Lincoln Trail College.
Lyon County High School
A 3x All-District, 2x All-Conference and finally a First Team All-State catcher. Brody Williams is considered “a pitcher’s best friend” for holding his school’s record for assists and fielding percentage as a catcher. The second player from Lyon County HS to win this award, Brody is committed to play at Kent State.
Wahama High School
In his senior season, Ethyn defended the top catching position as the captain of All-State First Team for West Virginia. As the 3x All-Conference field commander for Wahama, he fielded 235 Putouts, 33 assists and a 33% caught stealing percentage. He will be attending Salem University.
Badin High School
“Jimmy was the unquestioned leader of our team this year”, says Coach Treadway, as he helped his team to back-to-back state semifinals in his time on the varsity team. Nugent capped off his high school career being named First Team All-State and will continue playing at Penn State.
Badin catcher one of the winners of Johnny Bench Award
Georgia Tech's Kevin Parada Wins 2022 Johnny Bench Award
Lyon County's Williams receives prestigious Johnny Bench Award
Ethyn Barnitz Receives Johnny Bench Award
Oldham County softball player named best catcher in Kentucky
Stone cautions players about the pleasure, pressure and pain of recruiting process
Brad Cresse, Louisiana State University - 2000
Kelly Shoppach, Baylor University - 2001
Jeremy Brown, University of Alabama - 2002
Ryan Garko, Stanford University - 2003
Kurt Suzuki, Cal State Fullerton, 2004
Jeff Clement, University of Southern California - 2005
Jake Smith, East Carolina University - 2006
Ed Easley, Mississippi State University - 2007
Buster Posey, Florida State University - 2008
J.T. Wise, University of Oklahoma - 2009
Bryan Holaday, Texas Christian University - 2010
Jake Lowery, James Madison University - 2011
Mike Zunino, University of Florida - 2012
Stuart Turner, University of Mississippi - 2013
Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State University - 2014
Garrett Stubbs, University of Southern California - 2015
Zack Collins, University of Miami - 2016
Matt Whatley, Oral Roberts University , 2017
Joey Bart, Georgia Tech University - 2018
Adley Rutschman, Oregon State University - 2019
Patrick Bailey, North Carolina State - 2020
Matheu Nelson, Florida State University - 2021
Dejah Mulipola, University of Arizona 2019
Morganne Flores, University of Washingston 2020
Kayla Kowalik, University of Kentucky, 2021
Nate Webb, Union County High School - 2019
Dalton Back, Columbus East High School - 2020
Austin Bode, Columbus North High School - 2021
Grace Lorsung, Cathedral High School - 2019
Taryn Weddle, Floyd Central High School - 2020
Sarah Stone, Bedford North Lawrnce High School - 2021
Colin Bugress, Tates Creek High School - 2019
Grant Knipp, Louisville Male High School - 2020
Matt Klein, Trinity High School - 2021
Riley Hull, Pulaski County High School - 2019
Taylor Jackson, Oldham County High School - 2020
Sydney Melton, Lyon County High School - 2021
Joe Powell, Mason High School - 2019
Mason Sawyer, Bishop Hartley High School - 2020
Trey Pancake, South Range High School - 2021
Samantha Hackenbracht, Massillon Washington High School - 2019
Zoie Smith, Pickerington Central High School, 2020
Madison Jellison, Watkins Memorial High School - 2021
Caleb Taylor, Morgantown High School - 2019
Eli Kirkendoll, Lincoln County High School -2020
Parker Redden, Shady Spring High School - 2021
Sophia Mikula, Weir High School - 2019
Jess Canterbury, Herbert Hoover High School, 2020
Emily Faith Allen, Parkersburg High School - 2021
In 2019, the Johnny Bench Awards moved to partnering with the Cincinnati Reds and expanded their program beyond collegiate baseball.
*Italics represents players with MLB service time.