April 9, 2013
WICHITA, Kansas – University of Houston junior catcher Caleb Barker was recently named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List, which honors the nation’s top Division I collegiate catcher in late June following the 2013 season.
For the complete Watch List, CLICK HERE.
Playing in his first season as a Cougar after transferring in from Grayson County College, Barker has quickly excelled as the signal caller for the Houston defense behind the dish. The Keller, Texas, native has started in 30 of Houston’s 33 games, while appearing in 32. Barker leads the team with 28 RBI and is tied for the team lead with three homeruns. He is hitting .281 with 36 hits and 16 runs scored, while producing four doubles for a .383 slugging percentage.
Barker’s most impressive attribute has been being able start immediately as a first-year Houston catcher and quickly become the battery mate for seven new Cougar pitchers. Behind the dish, Barker is working with a team ERA of 3.36, while tallying over 200 putouts on 219 strikeouts.
For his impressive play during the Astros Foundation College Classic at Minute Maid Park, Barker was named to the All-Tournament team.
Barker joins two other Conference USA catchers on the initial list as UCF’s Ryan Breen and East Carolina’s Travis Watkins are among the nation’s elite listed.
THE AWARD PROCESS
The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced May 16, 2013. 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, 2013. 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 16th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27, 2013.