Ben Heath Named Pro-Line Athletic NCBWA Third Team All-American
June 16, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Former Penn State catcher Ben Heath (Huntersville, N.C.) continues to rack up the postseason honors as he was named a Pro-Line Athletic National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Third Team All-American on Wednesday. It marks Heath's third All-America honor after being named to both the Louisville Slugger and PING!Baseball second teams. The Houston Astros' farmhand, who leaves Penn State as its single-season home run king, begins play with the Tri-City ValleyCats on Friday.
Heath and Miami's Yasmani Grandal are the only catchers named to all three (Louisville Slugger, PING!Baseball and Pro-Line Athletic) All-America squads. He is also one of three Big Ten players named a NCBWA All-American, joining Indiana's Alex Dickerson and Ohio State's Alex Wimmers.
Along with his three All-American honors, Heath was also named both a Dick Howser Trophy and Johnny Bench Award semifinalist awarded to the top player and catcher in the nation, respectively. Only 25 players were named a Howser semifinalist while 16 cracked the Bench List. The three Howser finalists will be announced this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium Media Room.
Also the first team All-Big Ten catcher, Heath led the Nittany Lions in most every statistical category in 2010: average (.369), home runs (19), RBI (57), runs scored (53), doubles (16), extra-base hits (36), total bases (148) and slugging percentage (.747).
On May 14, Heath hit his 18th home run of the season off Minnesota ace and San Francisco Giants' fourth round pick Seth Rosin to break the 32-year Penn State single-season mark held by Dave Simononis, this coming in his first at-bat at the historic Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Overall, Heath homered against three Big Ten aces, all who were selected in last week's Major League Baseball Draft. Along with Rosin, Alan Oaks (Michigan) was an eighth round pick by the Florida Marlins while Matt Bischoff (Purdue) went in the 20th round to the Seattle Mariners.
The All-America honors round out a memorable month for Heath, who was selected by the Astros in the fifth round (#153 overall) of the MLB First-Year Player Draft last Tuesday. In the process, he became the Nittany Lions' highest position player chosen since Greg Vogel in 1976 and the highest for an underclassman in school history.
On Sunday, Heath signed with the Astros and will report to their short-season single-A New York Penn League affiliate in Troy, N.Y. The Tri-City ValleyCats begin play on Friday and are scheduled to play at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park against the State College Spikes on Aug. 7-9, which could mark Heath's return to Happy Valley.
Heath's complete rundown of postseason honors and awards can be found below in chronological order (based on release date). Click on each link for the complete press release.
RECAPPING THE LAST MONTH:
6/12: PING!BASEBALL SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICAN
6/10: ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN
6/8: SELECTED BY THE ASTROS IN THE MLB DRAFT
6/3: LOUISVILLE SLUGGER SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICAN
5/25: FIRST TEAM ALL-BIG TEN
5/21: 2010 DICK HOWSER TROPHY SEMIFINALIST
5/19: 2010 JOHNNY BENCH AWARD SEMIFINALIST
Check back to GoPSUsports.com for more news and notes on Heath and other current and former Nittany Lions.
Baseball camp information is now available. Call the Sports Camp Office at (814) 865-0561 or email them at SportCampInfo@outreach.psu.edu for more information.
Follow Penn State baseball on Twitter: www.twitter.com/psubaseball.