By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Chalk up another honor for a member of the Tennessee Tech baseball team. Junior catcher Jordan Parris has been named to the official watch list for the 2013 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com.
The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission started the Johnny Bench Award in 2000. The award was formed to be given annually to the nation's top NCAA Division I catcher based on athletic ability, sportsmanship, team leadership and character.
A watch list for the Johnny Bench Award is compiled from nominations received from universities. A selection committee will then narrow the list down to the semifinalists. Statistical information on each semifinalist is then compiled and sent to the national selection committee by the end of May. A vote by the national selection committee narrows the list to the three finalists. Another vote during the College World Series will determine who will be named the Johnny Bench National Collegiate Catcher of the Year. The three finalists will be brought to Wichita for the awards banquet at the end of June.
While Johnny Bench is remembered for his offense, he may have had the greatest impact behind the plate. He was the first receiver to use a protective helmet in the field, popularized catching one-handed and kept his throwing hand behind his back to protect it from foul tips.
Parris has been a stalwart behind the plate for the Golden Eagles this season, providing immeasurable defensive skills that have thwarted countless scoring opportunities for opponents this season. The Tullahoma native has thrown out nearly 40 percent of runners who try to steal on him and owns a solid .981 fielding percentage.
Two other Ohio Valley Conference catchers were also named to the list including:Eastern Kentucky junior Sean Hagen and Austin Peay junior P.J. Torres.