New Mexico State junior catcher Zac Fisher was named one of 12 semifinalists for the 2012 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission yesterday.
The initial watch list started with 43 catchers from across the nation in NCAA Division I baseball and is now down to 12. Fisher, is one of two catchers from the Western Athletic Conference to be on the list with the other being Sacramento State's Derrick Chung.
Fisher leads the Aggies with a .360 batting average (73-of-203) heading into the final series of regular season play. He has posted 17 doubles, five home runs and 54 RBI on the season and is hitting .346 in WAC play.
Fisher was named to the 2012 National Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the College Sports Madness Baseball Preseason All-American Teams after a stellar sophomore season. He was a 2011 second team All-WAC selection as a designated hitter and an American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Midwest Region selection after leading the team with a .398 batting average and 68 hits. His batting average ranked 20th in the nation and his 71 RBI ranked 76th nationally.
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, 2012. 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 28, 2012.
The Johnny Bench Award semifinalists are (in alphabetical order):
Derrick Chung, Sacramento State;
Zachary Fisher, New Mexico State;
Tucker Frawley, Coastal Carolina;
Mitchell Garver, New Mexico;
Tyler Heineman, UCLA;
Joe Hudson, Notre Dame;
Jeremy Lucas, Indiana State;
Josh Ludy, Baylor;
Jeff Melillo, Rutgers;
Kevin Plawecki, Purdue;
Jeremy Schaffer, Tulane and
Mike Zunino, Florida.
Previous winners were:
2011 Jake Lowery, James Madison University
2010 Bryan Holaday, Texas Christian University
2009 J.T. Wise, University of Oklahoma
2008 Buster Posey, Florida State University
2007 Edward Easley, Mississippi State University
2006 Jake Smith, East Carolina University
2005 Jeff Clement, University of Southern California
2004 Kurt Suzuki, Cal State - Fullerton
2003 Ryan Garko, Stanford University
2002 Jeremy Brown, University of Alabama
2001 Kelly Shoppach, Baylor University
2000 Brad Cresse, Louisiana State University