2018 Johnny Bench Award Watch List
WICHITA, Kan. – For the second-straight year, Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart was named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list presented by BaseballSavings.com the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced today.
The award is given annually to the top Division I collegiate baseball catcher. The list will be updated to on April 30. The watch list will then be narrowed down to the semifinalists on May 16 and the finalists will be announced on June 4.
A 2017 Johnny Bench Award semifinalist, Bart was a consensus preseason all-American in 2018. The junior was recognized as a preseason all-American by Perfect Game/Rawlings, Baseball America (first team), NCBWA (second team), D1Baseball (second team), presented by adidas, Collegiate Baseball (third team) and College Sports Madness (second team).
This season, the Tech co-captain is hitting .326 (14-for-43) with four home runs, a double, seven RBIs, and 10 runs scored. His four home runs is tied for the team lead, while he also leads the team in walks with seven. The junior has posted a .628 slugging percentage and a .453 on base percentage thus far this season, while throwing out 5-of-6 would be base stealers and picking off two more base runners over the Jackets’ first 11 games.
Last season, Bart was an ABCA/Rawlings all-region second team selection and an all-ACC second team honoree last year as a sophomore. He played and started in 44 games on the year last season despite missing the last 11 games of the season due to a hand injury. Bart hit .296 with a team-high 13 home runs and 43 RBIs on the season. He also totaled 55 base hits, including 13 doubles, and scored 36 runs. The power-hitting righty, who led the team with a .575 slugging percentage on the year, also recorded 12 multi-hit games, nine multi-RBI games and posted a career-long hitting streak of 10 games in late February to mid-March.