Benninghoff went in the 11th round to the Twins in 2016, signing from a Kansas high school for an overslot $600K bonus. He has battled injuries early in his pro career, missing time his senior year of high school with a biceps issue and hitting the DL again in 2017. Benninghoff returned to the GCL this summer, and while he posted sparkling numbers, the stuff hasn’t taken steps forward as hoped.
The tall righty throws from a low-maintenance semi-windup, and while he’s fairly clean through the delivery, Benninghoff’s arm doesn’t work quickly through release and struggles to get extension. His fastball sits in the 88-to-89 mph range, dipping lower than that at times. It shows occasional run when down in the zone, but he didn’t command the lower-third much in my look. Both his curveball (74-to-76 mph) and changeup (84-to-85 mph) flash action, but neither pitch is consistent. He mixed a crude cutter/slider pitch in the mid-80s that had more tunneling spin than discernable lateral movement.
Still just 20-years-old, Benninghoff has time to see an increase in stuff and find more consistency with his off-speed. He’ll need to turn a corner quickly to maintain any prospect status. Given his pro experience (entering his fourth year in the organization) and GCL performance this summer, he’s likely to open 2019 with a full-season affiliate.