Bossart Named to Johnny Bench Award Watch List

PHILADELPHIA - Austin Bossart of the Penn baseball team has been named to the initial watch list for the 2013 Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the top Division I catcher in the nation. Only 48 catchers nationwide made the initial watch list, and Bossart is the only representative on the list from Ivy League.

One of three team captains this year and just a sophomore, Bossart was named honorable mention All-Ivy last season after a freshman campaign in which he batted .276 with 17 runs batted in and six stolen bases. His impact on the game went far beyond his offensive numbers though. Starting 39 of Penn's 40 games in 2012, Bossart threw out 22 baserunners, including a stretch of games against Brown, La Salle, Dartmouth and Harvard where he caught five consecutive runners stealing. He also kept runners honest by picking off five who wandered too far off the bag.

There have been no signs of a letdown from Bossart to start this season. A .324 average through nine games puts him third on the team among those who have started every game. He's also improved his power numbers in the early going, already matching his output from a year ago with four doubles. Though catchers aren't often known to be a threat to run, Bossart has added three stolen bases in four attempts.

While his offense has improved, his defense is as strong as ever. In eight games behind the plate, Bossart has allowed just six stolen bases in 13 attempts. Taking away the first two games of the season at William & Mary, he's caught five of the last seven attempted base stealers this season, including all three in Penn's most recent game at Winthrop on Sunday.

Bossart will look to continue his torrid start to the season on Wednesday afternoon, when Penn wraps up a stretch of 10 games away from Meiklejohn Stadium with a 3 p.m. game at Towson. The Quakers make their home debut on Saturday with a doubleheader against George Washington beginning at 12 p.m.

2013 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com Watch List
Blake AustinJRAuburn University
Brett AustinSONorth Carolina State University
Dan BetheaSRSt. John's University
Austin BossartSOUniversity of Pennsylvania
Ryan BreenSRUniversity of Central Florida
Garrett CustonsSRAir Force Academy
Mike DanaherSRBinghamton University
Blair DeBordJRKansas State University
Brian DixonJRUniversity of New Orleans
Kaiana EldredgeJRUniversity of Kansas
Zane EvansJRGeorgia Tech
Drew FarberJRUNC Wilmington
Jacob FeltsJRUniversity of Texas
Aramis GarciaSOFlorida International University
Mitchell GarverSRUniversity of New Mexico
Kyle GibsonJRUniversity of Louisville
Grayson GreinerSOUniversity of South Carolina
Radley HaddadSRButler University
Chris HooJRCal Poly
Nate IrvingSOUniversity of Virginia
Blake JohnsonSRArkansas-Little Rock
Jose LongoriaSRGrambling State University
Adam MartinJRWestern Carolina University
Stephen McGeeJRFlorida State University
Riley MooreSOUniversity of Arizona
Spencer NavinJRVanderbilt University
Grant NelsonSRSaint Louis University
Ramon OrtegaSRManhattan College
Matt ParéSRBoston College
Jordan ParrisJRTennessee Tech University
Colton PlaiaSRLoyola Marymount University
Jake RodriguezJROregon State University
Tyler RossJRLouisiana State University
Tanner RustJRNew Mexico State University
Scott SarrattSRGeorgia State University
Brandon SchottSRUniversity of Maryland Eastern Shore
Kyle SchwarberSOIndiana University
Ronnie ShaefferSRUC Irvine
Adam SonabendJREastern Michigan University
Elvin SotoSOUniversity of Pittsburgh
Michael SpanoSRFlorida Atlantic University
Andrew StumphSRTexas State University
Alex SwimSRElon University
Stuart TurnerJRUniversity of Mississippi
Luke VoitSRMissouri State University
Matt WinnSOVirginia Military Institute
Jake WiseJRUniversity of Arkansas
Mack ZagunisSOVirginia Tech