WICHITA, Kansas -- Rice senior John Clay Reeves has been named to the official watch list for the 2015 Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top collegiate catcher.
The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com. The inaugural watch list consists of 75 players from across the country.
So far this season Reeves owns a .391 batting average with a team-leading 22 RBI in the Owls' 18 games. The Monroe, La., native and Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year belted his third home run of the season last night in the Owls' 14-5 victory over Texas State. He has scored 11 runs and maintained a steady .580 slugging percentage with a .456 on-base average to help Rice jump out to a 12-6 start.
The Johnny Bench Award watch list will be narrowed down semifinalists on May 14. Ballots will be sent to a national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 2, 2015. 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 18th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 25, 2015.
A 1989 inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Johnny Bench was twice named the Most Valuable Player in the National League and a 14-time MLB All-Star. 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 and introduced catching techniques that have become the foundation for how the position is played today. In 2014 Johnny Bench presented Kennesaw State's Max Pentecost with the most-recent award.