Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada’s superior season has been recognized by one of the game’s all-time greats. On Tuesday, Parada was named the winner of the Johnny Bench Award, which is selected by the Hall of Fame catcher himself.
Parada, already a unanimous first-team All-American, Parada finished his sophomore season at Tech with a school-record 26 home runs and completed the regular season in the top five nationally in total bases, RBIs and runs. He was a finalist for two national player-of-the-year awards (the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy) that went to Texas’ Ivan Melendez. He is a finalist for another national catcher-of-the-year honor, the Buster Posey Award, that will be announced Wednesday.
Bench annually selects the top Division I catchers in baseball and softball, as well as the best high-school catchers for softball and baseball in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. The Division I softball catcher was Jordyn Rudd of Northwestern.
Parada is widely expected to be a top-10 selection in the MLB draft July 17-19.