WICHITA, Kan. – Cal State Fullerton catcher Jared Deacon was named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced Thursday.
The senior backstop out of Elk Grove, Calif. was one of 43 catchers nominated for the award by their coaches. The award is given annually to the top Division I catcher in the nation and the watch list will continue to be updated until May 5.
The award will be handed out for the 15th time at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 26, 2014.
Deacon was the only catcher from the Big West Conference named to the initial watch list. The fifth-year senior has played in eight games for the Titans this season, starting in seven.
He is hitting .250 with seven runs scored and four RBIs. His .423 on-base percentage is fourth best on the team as the catcher has drawn eight walks in 40 at-bats, tying him for the team lead. On the base paths, Deacon has thrown out 50 percent of would-be base stealers (3-of-6).
On Feb. 16, Deacon made his only appearance as a reserve this season count as he came up with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Titans a walk-off victory over Washington State at Goodwin Field.
Deacon will look to become the first Titans catcher to win the award since Kurt Suzuki took home the honor in 2004.
More on the Johnny Bench Award Watch List
The final day to add catchers to the watch list will be May 5, 2014. The list will then be narrowed down to semifinalists, which will be announced on May 15. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine three finalists, to be announced on June 3. A final vote by the national committee will occur during the College World Series.
The Johnny Bench Award is handed out annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher based on athletic ability, sportsmanship, team leadership and character.