WICHITA, Kansas - East Carolina's Travis Watkins is one of 15 catchers added to the official watch list for the 2013 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com and the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on April 9.
The Bench Award, which is given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher, is a rolling list that will be updated to include other candidate until May of 2013.
Watkins, who is the lone freshman on the 62-player list, has started 23 of 27 games behind the plate and is leading East Carolina with a .310 average heading into its weekend series at Tulane.
In his rookie season, Watkins has driven 13 runs, recorded a pair of doubles, scored five runs, posted six multi-hit games and has thrown out 10-of-26 base stealers (38.5 percent).
A native of Concord, N.C., Watkins is the fifth catcher in program history to be named to the watch list following Jake Smith (2006 winner), Corey Kemp (2007-08 semifinalist), Jared Avchen (2010) and Zach Wright (2010-12).
The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced May 16, 2013. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 4, 2013. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 15th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27, 2013.
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