ORU's Whatley wins Johnny Bench Award

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Oral Roberts junior Matt Whatley is the winner of the 2017 Johnny Bench Award, given each year to college baseball's top catcher.

Johnny Bench himself was there to hand out the hardware at the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission's annual banquet on Thursday night.

Whatley was a three-year starter for the Golden Eagles and threw out 43 percent of potential base stealers behind a perfect fielding percentage in 507 chances this last season.

He also posted a .302 batting average with 11 home runs, 11 doubles and 49 RBIs. 

"I'm just super excited and happy to have him give me the award," Whatley said. "I was honored and like I said it was great, I know I'm with a lot of great talent out there and like I said it's just a blessing to be here."

Whatley beat out Long Beach State's David Banuelos and Louisiana Tech's Brent Diaz for the award. He was drafted in the third round to the Texas Rangers.