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.
MSA Design's passion for sports blends with thier love of architecture. The result: they've never missed an Opening Day-not a client’s, nor their favorite teams’. As avid sports fans, MSA’s passion for sports is what fuels their designs and overall growth within the MSA Sport division. The focus: enhancing the player and the fan experience. Since 1997, MSA Sport specializes in sports facilities design, stadium enhancement and fan engagement, while remaining a national leader in planning and designing of athletic facilities. Through novelty and technology they craft unique brand identities at the professional, collegiate, community recreation, and high school level.
Senior, University of Oklahoma
As a sophomore, Kinzie was a Johnny Bench Awards finalist ranking fifth in the nation with 24 home runs and 21 Assists at catcher and first base. She has since gone to be a 2x All-American, 3x National Champion, maintained a .993 career fielding and .734 slugging percentages. She plans to return Oklahoma for her 5th year of eligibility.
Junior, University of Virginia
The spirit of the Johnny Bench Award is players who exemplify catching excellence on both sides of the plate. As a unanimous All-American, Kyle led all finalists with 69 RBIs and a .673 Slugging Percentage with 47 Assists and a .995 Fielding Percentage. This balanced proficiency has earned him the Atlantic Coast Conference of the Year. He was drafted in the First Round by the Boston Red Sox.
Junior, Watkins Memorial High School
The Licking County League Player of the Year posted a 1.759 OPS and 39% caught stealing percentage. Jordyn returned to the All-Ohio roster as a 1st team catcher, earned a nomination for USA Today Central Ohio Female Athlete of the Year and is committed to Ohio University.
Senior, Wahama High School
As a varsity catcher, she has accomplished 3x First Team All-State honors, 3x State Champion, maintained a flawless fielding percentage and was second in the home runs across the state. She will continue her career at Division 1 Radford University.
Senior, Lafayette High School
Garnering a 1.000 fielding percentage through nearly 300 putouts on one side of the plate, Nora also provided an offensive presence for her team; slugging .753 and placing in the Top 10 of most offensive categories. She is continuing her education at Arizona State.
Sophomore, Bedford North Lawrence High School
Ava has already been a 2x First Team All-State catcher, All-American and wasnamed the National Fastpitch Coaches Association High School Catcher of the Year. With 22 home runs and perfect fielding percentage, Ava is representing Indiana as an All-American.
Senior, Center Grove High School
Grant is a 2x All-County Catcher and 3x County Champion who helped lead his team to the state champion of Indiana’s highest division in 2023. Ranked among the Top 50 baseball players in the state by Prep Baseball Report, and Top 5 at catching, Grant will be continuing his student athletic pursuits at Purdue Ft. Wayne.
Senior, Covington Catholic High School
First Team All-State catcher, NKAC and NKBCA Player of the Year and Baseball Senior All-Star Game MVP. Jonathan Fitz was considered the #1 Ranked catcher in Kentucky’s class of 2023and will be playing for the University of San Diego.
Senior, Morgantown High School
The 2023 Class of Johnny Bench Award winners lost their freshman season to COVID, and Ty Galusky lost more time to a torn UCL. Despite those adversities, he helped lead his team to the postseason from both sides of the plate as the First Team All-State Catcher. He will be attending Fort Scott Community College.
Senior, Walsh Jesuit High School
The All-Crown Conference MVP and Northeast Ohio Coaches Association Player of the Year. Mason is a 2x First Team All-State catcher and will continue to represent his home state at the Ohio State University.
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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
Kevin Parada, Georgia Tech University - 2022
Dejah Mulipola, University of Arizona 2019
Morganne Flores, University of Washingston 2020
Kayla Kowalik, University of Kentucky, 2021
Jordyn Rudd, Northwestern University, 2022
Nate Webb, Union County High School - 2019
Dalton Back, Columbus East High School - 2020
Austin Bode, Columbus North High School - 2021
Oscar Pegg, Shakamak High School - 2022
Grace Lorsung, Cathedral High School - 2019
Taryn Weddle, Floyd Central High School - 2020
Sarah Stone, Bedford North Lawrnce High School - 2021
Brenna Blume, Gibson Southern High School - 2022
Colin Bugress, Tates Creek High School - 2019
Grant Knipp, Louisville Male High School - 2020
Matt Klein, Trinity High School - 2021
Brody Williams, Lyon County High School - 2022
Riley Hull, Pulaski County High School - 2019
Taylor Jackson, Oldham County High School - 2020
Sydney Melton, Lyon County High School - 2021
Kayley Batts, Oldham County High School - 2022
Joe Powell, Mason High School - 2019
Mason Sawyer, Bishop Hartley High School - 2020
Trey Pancake, South Range High School - 2021
Jimmy Nuggent, Badin High School - 2022
Samantha Hackenbracht, Massillon Washington High School - 2019
Zoie Smith, Pickerington Central High School, 2020
Madison Jellison, Watkins Memorial High School - 2021
Myiah Cloud, Delaware Hayes High School, 2022
Caleb Taylor, Morgantown High School - 2019
Eli Kirkendoll, Lincoln County High School -2020
Parker Redden, Shady Spring High School - 2021
Ethyn Barnitz, Wahama High School - 2022
Sophia Mikula, Weir High School - 2019
Jess Canterbury, Herbert Hoover High School, 2020
Emily Faith Allen, Parkersburg High School - 2021
Josie Bird, Lincoln County High School - 2022
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.