From T-ball on up, Carter Bins has always played catcher. Now a Bulldog, Bins’ work might pay off in one of college baseball’s most coveted prizes – the Johnny Bench Award.
In just his sophomore season as a Bulldog, Bins was added last Tuesday to the watch list for the award given to the top Division 1 catcher from among about 100 catchers from across the country.
Bins expressed his appreciation to his coaches for the assistance they have provided during his development into one of the premier backstops in the country.
“I take it as an honor. I give a lot of credit to the coaching staff for giving me all of the tools that I need,” Bins said. They have supported me throughout last year and the beginning of this season. They’re the ones that really should be credited because, without them, none of this would be possible.”
Bins is already bolstering his case to receive the award by having quite a strong start to the season.
As of Tuesday, Bins had 22 hits in 69 at-bats, good for a .319 batting average with three home runs and 14 runs batted in. He said that he is feeling very comfortable at the plate.
“I am seeing the ball pretty well,” Bins said. “I am just taking every at-bat like it’s my last. I’m not trying to do too much in any situation, and I am just trying to produce and do my part so that the guys in front of me and behind me can do their part. It’s a team effort, and I am just one of the nine in the order.”
But as anyone who follows baseball will tell you, a catcher’s main responsibility is playing good defense. Bins excels in this area as well, according to his sophomore teammate and pitcher Davis Moore.
Moore said that having a great catcher behind the plate has helped him on the mound in his career as a Bulldog.
“It’s just having the confidence to be able to bury that spot knowing that he is going to frame it well, or if it’s a curveball in the dirt, knowing that he is going to block it and control it and get that dropped third strike over to first,” Moore said.
Bins said that he knows that playing catcher is mostly about defense, noting that the position is the only one that can see everything in the game in front of him.
“All eyes are on the pitcher and catcher,” Bins said. “I am the only one that can see everything, so I have to keep my eyes open and just make sure that everyone is doing what they need to do and be where they need to be.”
No matter what happens with his game individually, Bins said that the team not achieving the goals of winning the Mountain West Conference regular season and tournament titles will discount any personal success he may achieve, including winning the Johnny Bench Award.
“I would say that it wouldn’t mean a whole lot because we didn’t really go anywhere. Our team goal is to get to the tournament. At the end of the day, my stats don’t mean anything if we don’t make the team goals that we set for the year,” Bins said.