Presented by MSA SportTuesday, July 26, 2022

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

2022 RECAP

The 2022 Johnny Bench Awards Luncheon took place on Tuesday, July 26 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 and were recognized on the field prior to the Reds vs. Marlins game. Click below to read more about this year’s event.


Top male NCAA baseball catcher

  • Kevin Parada – Georgia Tech

Top female NCAA softball catcher

  • Jordyn Rudd – Northwestern University

Top high school catchers from Ohio

  • Myaih Cloud – Hayes High School (softball)
  • Jimmy Nugent – Badin High School (baseball)

Top high school catchers from Kentucky

  • Kayley Batts – Oldham County High School (softball)
  • Brody Williams – Lyon County High School (baseball)

Top high school catchers from Indiana

  • Brenna Blume – Gibson Southern High School (softball)
  • Oscar Pegg – Shakamak High School (baseball)

Top high school catchers from West Virginia

  • Josie Bird – Lincoln County High School (softball)
  • Ethyn Barnitz – Wahama High School (baseball)

2022 DRAFT NOTE: Kevin Parada was selected by the New York Mets with the No. 11 overall pick


2021 DRAFT NOTE: Matheu Nelson was selected by the Cincinnati Reds with the No. 35 overall pick.

2021 WinnersSchoolSport
Matheu NelsonFlorida State UniversityBaseball
Kayla KowalikUniversity of KentuckySoftball
Trey Pancake IIISouth Range High School (OH)Baseball
Madison JellisonWatkins Memorial High School(OH)Softball
Matt KleinTrinity High School (KY)Baseball
Sydney MeltonLyon County High School (KY)Softball
Austin BodeColumbus North High School (IN)Baseball
Sarah StoneBedford North Lawrence High School (IN)Softball
Parker ReddenShady Spring High School (WV)Baseball
Emily Faith AllenParkersburg 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.

2020 WinnersSchoolSport
Patrick BaileyNC State UniversityBaseball
Morganne FloresUniversity of WashingtonSoftball
Mason SawyerBishop Hartley High School (OH)Baseball
Zoie SmithPickerington High School Central (OH)Softball
Grant KnippLouisville Male High School (KY)Baseball
Taylor JacksonOldham County High School (KY)Softball
Dalton BackColumbus East High School (IN)Baseball
Taryn WeddleFloyd Central High School (IN)Softball
Eli KirkendollLincoln County High School (WV)Baseball
Jess CanterburyHerbert 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.

2019 WinnersSchoolSport
Adley RutschmanOregon State UniversityBaseball
Dejah MulipolaUniversity of ArizonaSoftball
Joe PowellMason High School (OH)Baseball
Samantha HackenbrachtMassillion Washington High School (OH)Softball
Colin BurgessTates Creek High School (KY)Baseball
Riley HullPulaski County High School (KY)Softball
Nate WebbUnion County High School (IN)Baseball
Grace LorsungCathedral High School (IN)Softball
Caleb TaylorMorgantown High School (WV)Baseball
Sofia MikulaWeir High School (WV)Softball
YearNameCollegeDrafted By
2018Joey BartGeorgia Institute of TechnologySan Francisco Giants
2017Matt WhatleyOral Roberts UniversityTexas Rangers
2016Zack CollinsUniversity of MiamiChicago White Sox
2015Garrett StubbsUniversity of Sothern CaliforniaHouston Astros
2014Max PentecostKennesaw State UniversityToronto Blue Jays
2013Stuart TurnerUniversity of MississippiMinnesota Twins
2012Mike ZuninoUniversity of FloridaSeattle Mariners
2011Jake LoweryJames Madison UniversityCleveland Indians
2010Bryan HoladayTexas Christian UniversityDetroit Tigers
2009J.T. WiseUniversity of OklahomaLos Angeles Dodgers
2008Buster PoseyFlorida State UniversitySan Francisco Giants
2007Ed EasleyMississippi State UniversityArizona Diamondbacks
2006Jake SmithEast Carolina UniversityOakland Athletics
2005Jeff ClementUniversity of Southern CaliforniaSeattle Mariners
2004Kurt SuzukiCal State FullertonOakland Athletics
2003Ryan GarkoStanford UniversityCleveland Indians
2002Jeremy BrownUniversity of AlabamaOakland Athletics
2001Kelly ShoppachBaylor UniversityBoston Red Sox
2000Brad CresseLouisiana State UniversityArizona Diamondbacks