Graskewicz up for Johnny Bench AwardKansas State sophomore catcher Chase Graskewicz, a 2009 Hudson High School graduate, has been named to the 2011 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award Watch List.
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State sophomore catcher Chase Graskewicz, a 2009 Hudson High School graduate, has been named to the 2011 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award Watch List, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced last Thursday.
The award, given annually to the nation’s top catcher, is in its 12th year of existence. Twelve former Johnny Bench Award finalists are currently playing in Major League Baseball. Graskewicz, K-State’s first ever candidate for the honor, was one of 42 catchers nationally on the watch list and one of three from the Big 12, joining Texas A&M’s Kevin Gonzalez and Oklahoma’s Tyler Ogle.
In his first season as the full-time catcher, Graskewicz is hitting .300 (9-for-30) with two doubles, four RBI and four runs scored in nine games. He has also drawn five walks and been hit by one pitch to hold a .395 on-base percentage.
Behind the plate, Graskewicz has been perfect on all of his 84 total fielding chances and has thrown out five runners, including three last weekend against Western Illinois.
Graskewicz excelled in a limited role as a freshman last year, hitting .359 (23-for-64) with one home run and 14 RBI. He started 16 total games, including five behind the plate, while serving as the designated hitter for the final 10 games of the season, hitting .424 with five RBI over that stretch.
Graskewicz was a four-year letterwinner at Hudson under head coach Ryan Huppert. He earned All-Big Rivers Conference honors all four seasons and was named the Raiders’ MVP his sophomore through senior seasons.
He earned all-district and all-state accolades his sophomore through senior campaigns and led the Raiders to a 21-9 overall record and regional championship as a senior. He also lettered four years in football, earning all-conference honors the final two seasons, and two years in basketball. He was an honors student and won the Athletic Scholar Award at Hudson. He is the son of Kerry and Beth Graskewicz.