USC's Jeff Clement Wins 2005 Johnny Bench Award
June 30, 2005
USC junior Jeff Clement won the 2005 Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top catcher as presented by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. Clement received the award at a banquet in Wichita, Kansas, that featured Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench and Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith.
A national voting committee decided the honor as Clement was one of three finalists for the award. Arizona's Nick Hundley and Texas catcher Taylor Teagarden were also finalists.
Clement is the first USC catcher to win the award and the second to be a finalist (Alberto Concepcion in 2002).
Selected third overall on June 7 by the Seattle Mariners in the 2005 MLB draft, Clement led the Trojans in most offensive categories this season. He batted .348 (80-for-230) with 17 doubles, 15 home runs and 54 RBI. He also led the team in walks (44) while stealing a career-high five bases and throwing out 25 of 68 baserunners (37%). He also was a finalist for the 2005 Golden Spikes Award.
For his career, Clement finished second all-time with 46 career home runs behind Mark McGwire (54).
Clement was a consensus 2005 first team All-American, earning by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and USA Today Sports Weekly, as well as NCBWA third team honors.