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ORU Catcher Whatley Named Best in Nation


JOHNNY BENCH AWARD: ORU’s Matt Whatley received his award from Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench.



Oral Roberts baseball’s Matt Whatley was honored as the 2017 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com winner, recently given to the nation’s best collegiate catcher during the 20th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet.

Whatley, a third-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers with the 104th overall selection in 2017, adds the crowning achievement to his career at ORU as the first Golden Eagle to win the award. He was one of 114 catchers named to the initial Johnny Bench Award watch list back in early March before landing a spot as one of three finalists, along with David Banuelos from Long Beach State and Brent Diaz of Louisiana Tech. A native of Claremore, Oklahoma, Whatley made 165 appearances for the Golden Eagles during his three seasons and ranks sixth in program history drawing 115 walks. He posted a .340 batting average totaling 67 extra-base hits, 143 runs and 134 RBI. He also was a two-time Academic All-Summit League Team selection.

Updated 07-24-2017

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