COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M junior Cole Bedford was identified as one of the top catchers in the land as he was named to the 2018 Johnny Bench Award watch list, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced Tuesday.
Bedford has played in 11 games in 2018, including nine starts, all at catcher. He’s currently batting .235 with four runs, three doubles, one home run, three RBI and two stolen bases. Defensively, Bedford has a 1.000 fielding percentage with one pickoff.
After scuffling as a freshman, Bedford had a breakout campaign in 2017. He played in 52 games as a sophomore, including 44 starts (41 C/3 DH). He ranked fourth on the squad with a .301 batting average, tallying 24 runs, 13 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 26 RBI and three stolen bases.
Bedford was one of five SEC catchers on the list of 97.
The watch list will be narrowed down to a group of semifinalists on May 16. A national voting panel will determine three finalists, which will be announced on June 4. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series with the winner being announced at the 21st annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 28.