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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

In 2000, the Johnny Bench Award was created by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission to honor college baseball's top NCAA Division I catcher in honor of Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench.

In 2019, the award was expanded and permanently relocated to the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. In addition to honoring college baseball's top catcher, the awards now honor the top female NCAA softball catcher along with the top baseball and softball catchers in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.

On June 18, 2019, this year's winners were honored with an awards luncheon at the FOX Sports Club at Great American Ball Park, along with a special salute during on-field ceremonies prior to the Reds vs. Astros game. Johnny Bench and many of the award winners also hosted a catching clinic for kids ages 8-16 at the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy that afternoon.


Please join us in congratulating the 2019 recipients of the Johnny Bench Awards presented by Krylon!

Top male NCAA baseball catcher - Adley Rutschman, Oregon State University

Adley Rutschman is a switch -itting catcher from Sherwood Oregon. Rutschman attended Oregon State University for three seasons winning a National Championship his sophomore season. Rutschman won multiple awards which include Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year, College World Series Most Outstanding Player, PAC 12 All First-Team, and has been named a finalist for the Golden Spikes and Buster Posey Awards. Rutschman was the first overall pick in this year's draft and was selected by the Baltimore Orioles.

Top female NCAA softball catcher - Dejah Mulipola, University of Arizona

Dejah Mulipola is a catcher from Garden Grove California. Mulipola attended Pacifica High School and pursued her softball career at Arizona University. Mulipola has been named to First Team All-Pac-12, Pac-12 All-Defensive Team, NFCA First Team All-American, and USA Softball Player of the Year Top 26 Finalist. Mulipola is also a part of the USA National Softball Team and is a gold medal winner.

Top catchers from Ohio

  • Joe Powell, Mason High School (baseball)
  • Samantha Hackenbracht, Massillon Washington High School (softball)

Top catchers from Kentucky

  • Colin Burgess, Tates Creek High School (baseball)
  • Riley Hull, Pulaski County High School (softball)

Top catchers from Indiana

  • Nate Webb, Union County High School (baseball)
  • Grace Lorsung, Cathedral High School (softball)

Top catchers from West Virginia

  • Caleb Taylor, Morgantown High School (baseball)
  • Sophia Mikula, Weir High School (softball)





Drafted By


Joey Bart

Georgia Institute of Technology

San Francisco Giants


Matt Whatley

Oral Roberts University

Texas Rangers


Zack Collins

University of Miami

Chicago White Sox


Garrett Stubbs

University of Sothern California

Houston Astros


Max Pentecost

Kennesaw State University

Toronto Blue Jays


Stuart Turner

University of Mississippi

Minnesota Twins


Mike Zunino

University of Florida

Seattle Mariners


Jake Lowery

James Madison University

Cleveland Indians


Bryan Holaday

Texas Christian University

Detroit Tigers


J.T. Wise

University of Oklahoma

Los Angeles Dodgers


Buster Posey

Florida State University

San Francisco Giants


Ed Easley

Mississippi State University

Arizona Diamondbacks


Jake Smith

East Carolina University

Oakland Athletics


Jeff Clement

University of Southern California

Seattle Mariners


Kurt Suzuki

Cal State Fullerton

Oakland Athletics


Ryan Garko

Stanford University

Cleveland Indians


Jeremy Brown

University of Alabama

Oakland Athletics


Kelly Shoppach

Baylor University

Boston Red Sox


Brad Cresse

Louisiana State University

Arizona Diamondbacks

Registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Sorry, no exceptions. This means once we receive your registration, you are unable to receive a refund if you cannot participate. This No Refunds Policy applies even if the Event is cancelled for any reason. If this occurs, your registration fee will be considered a tax-deductible donation to the Reds Community Fund to be utilized for one of their many outreach initiatives.