There is no doubt the best catcher I have even seen in my lifetime is Johnny Bench. I had a chance to see him play a couple of times. Once in high school at Candlestick Park against the Giants and at the 1972 World Series in Oakland against the A's. (Oakland won the series in seven). Bench had a rocket arm...took command of the game from behind the plate, hit with power....He had 389 career homers and was the MVP twice and made the all-star team 14 times. Adley Rutschman is still emerging as a great baseball player but those two diving catches he made last June in Omaha were epic.
What an honor to be picked as a semifinalist. One of 16 players around the nation with that distinction.
His numbers are impressive so far this season:
Rutschman is one of two players from the Pac-12 Conference on the semifinalists list. He leads the Pac-12 and is sixth nationally with a .413 batting average.
The Sherwood, Ore., native is second in the league with 62 runs batted in, which places him 13th in the NCAA. He’s also hit six home runs and has 37 walks to 25 strikeouts. Defensively, he’s posted a .982 fielding percentage while seeing time at both first base and catcher.
The 16 semifinalists were announced on Wednesday, and three finalists will be revealed on June 4. The winner of the 2018 honor will be announced on June 28 in Wichita.