March 27, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech sophomore catcher Arden Pabst has been named to the initial watch list for the 2015 Johnny Bench Award, which is presented annually to the top catcher in college baseball.
The award is chosen by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission and is presented by BaseballSavings.com. The initial watch list included 80 catchers nationally, and will be revised again on May 4.
Pabst, who as a freshman was second in the ACC in runners caught stealing (16) and caught-stealing percentage (.410), is among the national leaders in the category this season. He has already thrown out 13 runners in 24 attempts (.542) to rank fifth nationally in caught-stealing percentage. His 13 runners thrown out also ranks among the NCAA’s top 10.
He has played error free this season, and committed just three in his career.
A native of Sherman Oaks, Calif., Pabst is one of 21 sophomore catchers on the list and one seven from the Atlantic Coast Conference, joining Ben Breazeale (Wake Forest), Zack Collins (Miami), Danny De Le Calle (Florida State), Chris Okey (Clemson), Mike Rosenfeld (Duke) and Will Smith (Louisville).
Offensively, Pabst is hitting .226 with six doubles, a home run, 10 RBI and is 2-for-2 in stolen bases. He launched a three-run walk-off home run to beat Albany, 9-8, and a game-tying RBI double as Tech rallied to beat Auburn, 4-1.
Former Tech catcher Zane Evans was one of three national finalists for the Johnny Bench Award in 2013. Current Baltimore Orioles catcher and former Jacket Matt Wieters was also a national finalist in 2007.
The 2015 winner will be announced in late June.