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 dedicated it to Hall of Fame and Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench.
In 2019, the award was expanded and permanently relocated to the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Reds Scouting Department provides input on the baseball categories. The awards committee determines each winner with support from local media from each state.
The Bench Awards will honor:
- Top male NCAA baseball catcher
- Top female NCAA softball catcher
- Top baseball and softball catchers from Ohio high schools
- Top baseball and softball catchers from Kentucky high schools
- Top baseball and softball catchers from Indiana high schools
- Top baseball and softball catchers from West Virginia high schools
All 10 winners will be invited to Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 20 for an awards luncheon, presented by MSA Sport, at Great American Ball Park followed by a pregame ceremony prior to the Reds vs. New York Mets game at 7:10 p.m.
The 2021 Johnny Bench Awards Luncheon took place on Tuesday, July 20 at Great American Ball Park in the Bally Sports Club. Recipients were honored by the Hall of Fame catcher himself as part of the festivities. Click below to read more about this year’s event.
2021 DRAFT NOTE: Matheu Nelson was selected by the Cincinnati Reds with the No. 35 overall pick.
|Matheu Nelson||Florida State University||Baseball|
|Kayla Kowalik||University of Kentucky||Softball|
|Trey Pancake III||South Range High School (OH)||Baseball|
|Madison Jellison||Watkins Memorial High School(OH)||Softball|
|Matt Klein||Trinity High School (KY)||Baseball|
|Sydney Melton||Lyon County High School (KY)||Softball|
|Austin Bode||Columbus North High School (IN)||Baseball|
|Sarah Stone||Bedford North Lawrence High School (IN)||Softball|
|Parker Redden||Shady Spring High School (WV)||Baseball|
|Emily Faith Allen||Parkersburg High School (WV)||Softball|
2020 DRAFT NOTE: Patrick Bailey was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the No. 13 overall pick in the first round.
|Patrick Bailey||NC State University||Baseball|
|Morganne Flores||University of Washington||Softball|
|Mason Sawyer||Bishop Hartley High School (OH)||Baseball|
|Zoie Smith||Pickerington High School Central (OH)||Softball|
|Grant Knipp||Louisville Male High School (KY)||Baseball|
|Taylor Jackson||Oldham County High School (KY)||Softball|
|Dalton Back||Columbus East High School (IN)||Baseball|
|Taryn Weddle||Floyd Central High School (IN)||Softball|
|Eli Kirkendoll||Lincoln County High School (WV)||Baseball|
|Jess Canterbury||Herbert Hoover High School (WV)||Softball|
2019 DRAFT NOTE: Adley Rutschman was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the No. 1 overall pick in the first round.
|Adley Rutschman||Oregon State University||Baseball|
|Dejah Mulipola||University of Arizona||Softball|
|Joe Powell||Mason High School (OH)||Baseball|
|Samantha Hackenbracht||Massillion Washington High School (OH)||Softball|
|Colin Burgess||Tates Creek High School (KY)||Baseball|
|Riley Hull||Pulaski County High School (KY)||Softball|
|Nate Webb||Union County High School (IN)||Baseball|
|Grace Lorsung||Cathedral High School (IN)||Softball|
|Caleb Taylor||Morgantown High School (WV)||Baseball|
|Sofia Mikula||Weir High School (WV)||Softball|
|2018||Joey Bart||Georgia Institute of Technology||San Francisco Giants|
|2017||Matt Whatley||Oral Roberts University||Texas Rangers|
|2016||Zack Collins||University of Miami||Chicago White Sox|
|2015||Garrett Stubbs||University of Sothern California||Houston Astros|
|2014||Max Pentecost||Kennesaw State University||Toronto Blue Jays|
|2013||Stuart Turner||University of Mississippi||Minnesota Twins|
|2012||Mike Zunino||University of Florida||Seattle Mariners|
|2011||Jake Lowery||James Madison University||Cleveland Indians|
|2010||Bryan Holaday||Texas Christian University||Detroit Tigers|
|2009||J.T. Wise||University of Oklahoma||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|2008||Buster Posey||Florida State University||San Francisco Giants|
|2007||Ed Easley||Mississippi State University||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|2006||Jake Smith||East Carolina University||Oakland Athletics|
|2005||Jeff Clement||University of Southern California||Seattle Mariners|
|2004||Kurt Suzuki||Cal State Fullerton||Oakland Athletics|
|2003||Ryan Garko||Stanford University||Cleveland Indians|
|2002||Jeremy Brown||University of Alabama||Oakland Athletics|
|2001||Kelly Shoppach||Baylor University||Boston Red Sox|
|2000||Brad Cresse||Louisiana State University||Arizona Diamondbacks|