Tinsley Named Johnny Bench Award Semifinalist
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced Wednesday, May 18, that Kansas junior catcher Michael Tinsley was one of 15 semifinalists for the 2016 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com.
The award is given annually to the top catcher in Division I collegiate baseball. The commission will announce its finalists on June 6 and then present the award on June 30 in Wichita, Kansas.
“I am really proud of his development,” head coach Ritch Price said. “It starts with really good work ethic. The young man has great commitment to the game and tries to be the best player he can be. It shows with his work in the weight room and his conditioning, and obviously with how well he has improved his skillset. He is one of the finest players in America.”
Tinsley leads the Big 12 Conference with a .386 batting average and a league-best 78 hits. In 202 at bats, Tinsley has hit 15 doubles, two triples, two home runs, driven in 40 RBIs and scored 47 runs. More impressively, he has only struck out 13 times – one every 15.5 at bats – and is the toughest player to strike out in the conference.
“It is amazing he has been able to put up the offensive numbers he has with how physically demanding the position is,” Price said. “It has been a tough year to be the catcher on our team and he has had a fabulous year.”
A six-foot, 195 pound native of Menlo Park, California, Tinsley holds the 18th-best active career batting average in the nation, as he ranks 11th among Power Five conferences in batting average (.386) and fourth in hits (78).
“Being able to show my abilities throughout the season and improve upon them feels great,” said Tinsley. “Everyone on the list is a great catcher. I am just honored to be included among them. It isn’t something I really think of because the team comes first, but it is definitely a great honor.”
Tinsley and the Jayhawks wrap up the regular season May 19-21 at No. 12 Oklahoma State and if finish in the top-eight of the conference, take part in the Big 12 Baseball Championship in Oklahoma City May 25-29.
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