Brock Bennett Named to Johnny Bench Award Watch List



April 24, 2010

Brock Bennett Season Stats Get Acrobat Reader

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama junior catcher Brock Bennett has been named to the 2010 Johnny Bench Award Watch List. 
The Johnny Bench Award has been presented annually to the nation's most outstanding collegiate catcher by the Greater Wichita (Kansas) Sports Commission since 2000. Former Alabama All-American catcher Jeremy Brown won the award in 2002.

"Brock Bennett has had a tremendous season and he is very deserving of this recognition," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "He is a great story and a true student-athlete. He came here as a walk-on and has earned the starting job as our everyday catcher. He has definitely earned the respect of his coaches and teammates for the way his carries himself on and off the field."

An outstanding defensive catcher, Bennett has played in 31 games this season and earned 23 starts. He has 21 starts behind the plate, one start at third base (at Jacksonville State, April 7) and one start in right field (Vanderbilt, March 21). He has started 13 of 15 SEC games, including 12 starts behind the plate.

The Tucker, Ga., native has caught more innings (190 1/3) than any other catcher this season. He has thrown out a team-best 39.4 percent (13-of-33) of opposing base runners and leads UA with two pickoffs.

Bennett is hitting .294 (25-for-85) this season with two home runs and 11 RBI. As a starter, he is hitting .305 (25-for-80) in 25 games with two doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI. He has also scored 20 runs in 25 starts. He posted a career-high seven-game hitting streak from March 16-27, where he hit .520 (13-for-25) with seven runs scored, one home run and four RBI. Bennett is a two-time Player of the Week selection by the Alabama coaching staff on March 1 and March 22.

In SEC play, Bennett is the Tide's third-leading hitter with a .362 batting average with one home run and seven RBI. He hit his first career SEC home run at Kentucky on April 9. He was UA's leading hitter against No. 16 Vanderbilt with a whopping .727 (8-for-11) batting average with four runs scored and three RBI. At one point in the series, he collected eight straight hits.

The Bench Award Watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, who will be announced May 19, 2010. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 2, 2010 prior to the NCAA Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. 

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 13th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on July 1, 2010.

The award is named for former Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer catcher, Johnny Bench, who was named the 1968 National League Rookie of the Year and 1970 NL Most Valuable Player. A 14-time All-Star, Bench led the Reds to back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. He was the 1976 World Series MVP after the Reds swept the New York Yankees.