June 27, 2008
Wichita, Kan. – Buster Posey was the recipient of the 2008 Johnny Bench Award as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission in conjunction with AT&T and Papa John’s Pizza Friday, June 27 at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate catcher as voted on by Division I baseball coaches.
This marks the second straight year that Posey was named a finalist for the Bench Award. He finished second in the balloting a season ago becoming the first sophomore to achieve such a feat.
The other two finalists in 2008 included Stanford University’s Jason Castro and Coastal Carolina’s Dock Doyle.
“I am so excited for Buster,” said head coach Mike Martin, who was in attendance at the banquet Friday night. “Buster had an outstanding season and is very deserving of this award. His outstanding play both on the offensive and defensive side played a major role in helping our ball club get back to the College World Series. Plus, I have to give a lot of credit to both Michael (Martin, Jr.) and Jamey (Shouppe) for coming up with the idea of moving Buster behind the plate after his freshman year. It was a move that paid huge dividends for our program over these last two years.”
Posey finished the season as the national leader in six offensive categories including batting average, hits, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. The Leesburg, Ga., native became just the fourth student-athlete in Atlantic Coast Conference history to capture baseball’s version of the triple crown as he finished the season leading the league in batting average (.463), home runs (26) and RBI (93).
Just last week, Posey was honored for his stellar work behind the plate claiming the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as he posted a .983 fielding percentage in 62 starts. He closed out the 2008 campaign throwing out 40.7 percent of would be base stealers while registering six pick offs. Posey committed just eight errors on the year closing out the season with a 12-game errorless streak. He had just four errors over his last 62 games.
Posey was named Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and Rivals.com in 2008. He also captured the Dick Howser Trophy and received consensus first team All-America accolades. Posey added Most Outstanding Player of the Tallahassee Regional after hitting .474 (9-for-19) with five home runs and 13 RBIs in leading Florida State back to the College World Series for the first time since 2000.
In the ACC, the junior catcher was named Player of the Year while nabbing first team accolades for the second consecutive year. He finished the regular season batting .479 in 30 league games leading the Seminoles to their second straight Atlantic Division title and the number two overall seed in the ACC Baseball Championship.
Posey was chosen fifth overall by the San Francisco Giants in the 2008 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.