Kansas Catcher Afenir Named Johnny Bench Award Semi-Finalist

May 14, 2009


Kansas senior catcher Buck Afenir has been named one of 13 semi-finalists for the Coleman Company Johnny Bench Award, which is presented annually to the top collegiate catcher in the country.

Statistics will now be compiled on each of the semi-finalists and sent to a national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 3 prior to the NCAA Super Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. 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 12th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 26.

Afenir, a senior from Escondido, Calif., is batting .339 this season with seven homers and 53 RBIs. He has 11 doubles and 45 runs scored while batting fourth in the order for much of the season. He also has been a solid backstop defensively, committing just five errors and throwing out 42 percent of would-be base-stealers. Afenir is third among the Jayhawks with 21 multiple hit games and had a stretch of 13 straight Big 12 games with at least one base hit.

In his career, Afenir has been named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention twice and is well on his way to recording a third all-conference selection.

Afenir and the Jayhawks (35-18, 13-11 in the Big 12) will face No. 11 Kansas State this weekend in a three-game series. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Manhattan, Kan., while Saturday and Sunday’s games will be played in Lawrence at 6 p.m.