HUNTINGTON -- Georgia Tech's Joey Bart was named the 2018 Johnny Bench Award winner as college baseball's top catcher Thursday night in Wichita, Kansas.
Bart, who was just the third Yellow Jacket catcher to be tabbed a finalist for the national award joining Matt Wieters (2007) and Zane Evans (2013) earlier this season, became the first Tech catcher to win the prestigious collegiate award.
Marshall University's Reynaldo Pastrana and Eastern Kentucky University's Alex Holderbach were the other finalists.
A consensus all-American, Bart had an excellent junior season in 2018 in which he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the all-ACC first team. He was a first-round draft pick, second overall, of the San Francisco Giants. The Buford, Ga., native led the Atlantic Coast Conference in hitting with a .359 batting average. He posted a .992 fielding percentage, threw out 12 of 33 would-be base stealers and recorded three pickoffs.
Pastrana, a junior, led the Thundering Herd in batting average (.355), runs (37), hits (71), home runs (13), RBI (50), and slugging percentage (.620). He also threw out 20 of 37 runners attempting to steal (54 percent), while carrying a .989 fielding percentage. In the 49 games he started, the All-Conference USA first team selection allowed just two passed balls.