March 20, 2007
Wichita, Kan. – The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced Thursday, March 15, the official watch list for the 2007 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by AT&T. Twenty-seven catchers from 17 conferences were nominated for the award including Florida State sophomore Buster Posey. The award is given annually to the top Division I collegiate catcher.
Posey made the transition from shortstop to catcher as a sophomore to fill unanticipated void behind the plate after the departure of two catchers on last year’s roster. A year ago, Posey was the Seminoles starting shortstop where he started all 65 games for the Seminoles and was named a freshman All-American. The Leesburg, Ga., native finished the 2006 season second on the team with a .346 batting average and 85 hits.
In his first season behind the plate, Posey has done a masterful job leading the Seminoles to a team ERA of 2.63 as he has started every contest in 2007. He has also thrown out 42.9 percent of potential base stealers on the year. Posey has been just as productive in the batter’s box hitting .382 through the first 23 games. He leads the team and the ACC in RBI’s with 31. He is second on the team in doubles (8) and runs scored (32).
“It is an honor to be nominated for an award named after one of the greatest catchers to have played the game,” said Posey. “To even be mentioned in the same sentence with Johnny Bench is truly a privilege. I am definitely grateful that the coaches and players on my team had the confidence in me during the off season to make the transition to play catcher. It has been a great experience and I look forward to what the rest of the season has in store.”
The watch list will be narrowed down to ten semi-finalists, whom will be announced May 17, 2007. Three finalists will then be announced May 30, 2007 prior to the NCAA Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft and will be brought to Wichita where the winner will be announced at the 10th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27, 2007.