Two big 12 catchers are among the 15 semifinalists for the 2013 Johnny Bench Award, which honors the best collegiate catcher. Junior Blair DeBord of Big 12 regular-season champion Kansas State and Oklahoma State’s Victor Romero are on the watch list for the annual award.
A hometown product from Manhattan, DeBord has started 50 games for the Wildcats this season, and is hitting .325 through Saturday’s games with 30 RBI. He has committed only three errors this season and owns an impressive .995 fielding average at a position that is involved in many fielding attempts during the course of a game. DeBord is the first player from Kansas State to become a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award.Oklahoma State’s Romero is currently hitting .293 through all games, with 11 doubles, four home runs and 26 runs batted in. Romero also has just three errors this year, with a .992 fielding average.
The watch list will be pared down the three finalists in early june, and the winner will be announced June 27. Two Big 12 catchers have received the award in the 13 years it has been presented: Kelly Shoppach of Baylor in 2001 and J.T. Wise of Oklahoma in 2009.