TUCSON, Ariz. - After playing his way into the starting lineup and finishing the season as the only Boilermaker with at least 10 doubles and 20 walks, Bryce Bonner has been recognized as a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
Bonner was one of six catchers nationally on CBN's Freshman All-American team. He's the first Purdue player to receive such an honor since Josh Estill in 2013. Bonner was also the catcher on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
Despite beginning the year as Nick Dalesandro's backup at catcher, Bonner made a team-high 33 starts behind the plate in his first collegiate season. Dalesandro was named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list in March and his versatility allowed him to help Purdue in the outfield when it became clear that Bonner needed to be in the lineup.
Bonner became only the fourth freshman in program history to record 13 doubles. The other three Boilermakers to accomplish the feat -- Cameron Perkins, Jermaine Allensworth and Rico Rossy -- all went on to play pro ball.
Additionally, Bonner became the first freshman since 2006 to lead the team in walks. He was third on the team in doubles, on-base percentage (.402), slugging percentage (.409) and OPS (.811), becoming the Boilermakers' first qualifying freshman of the BBCOR bat era (2011-present) to post an .800-plus OPS.
Bonner debuted in impressive fashion, putting together eight productive plate appearances in nine trips to the dish over the final two games of the season-opening series at Texas State. He became a full-time starter beginning with the second weekend of Big Ten play and started all 25 of Purdue's games from March 31 to May 13. He made five starts at designated hitter during that stretch. Traditionally, backup catchers don't get many opportunities to DH, but his production in the lineup proved too valuable when he wasn't behind the plate.
Bonner was behind the plate for every inning of the Boilermakers' second seven-game win streak of the season (April 19-29). During that streak, Purdue did not trail for 57 consecutive innings. He caught 122 consecutive innings from April 18 to May 12. He had 12 doubles in a span of 66 at-bats from March 11 to April 18. His team-leading walk total allowed him to reach base safely in the first 13 games he started this season and 12 straight Big Ten games from April 8 to May 12.
Bonner is playing for the Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League this summer.