Will Benson

Position: RF
Level: Class A
Affiliate: Lake County Captains
League: Midwest League
Born: 06/16/1998 (Age: 20)
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 225
B/T: Left / Left
Acquired: 1st Rd. (#14 Overall), 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft (TB)

Prospect Spotlight

Benson was the 14th overall pick in the 2016 Draft from a Georgia high school, young for his class at just 17-years-old when signing. His prodigious physicality and power made him a fixture on the Atlanta-area travel circuit as an underclassman, where Benson starred for the East Cobb program. At 6’5” and 225 pounds, he looks more like a tight end than a baseball player. The size and strength translates to the diamond, giving him prototype right field raw power and defensive ability. Benson has five-tool potential, but questions about his ability to make contact and bring the power into games will determine if he’s an everyday player at the big league level.

Benson’s raw power is not in question, double-plus, with the ability to hit monstrous bombs to his pullside and centerfield. He’s gotten to that power in Class A in 2018, a result of both his strength and solid approach that lands him in hitters counts. Benson shows a feel for the strike zone, but really struggles to recognize spin and will frequently chase against breaking stuff. He has a big-muscle swing that isn’t particularly handsy or inside-out, causing issues swinging through secondary pitches even within the zone at times. It’s enthusing that he can lay off a close fastball and take walks, but there isn’t much ability to hit anything that isn’t straight. He’s likely to be a three-true-outcomes bat with a below-average hit tool that plays the in-game power down to 50-grade, despite raw power much gaudier than that. Benson still will get into his share of fastballs, but until I see more bat-to-ball ability, I can’t see the power fully playing in games given the infrequency of contact and strikeout potential.

Defensively, he’s a great fit for right field where he shows a 60-grade arm and runs above-average underway. His long legs allow lengthy strides, covering the gap well and reading balls off the bat. Benson projects as a plus defender in right, and paired with his size and monsterous left-handed raw power, he’s lined up for a big league future as a platoon starter or high-end reserve player. The hit tool is simply too limited to face big league lefties. FV 45, a semi-regular with power.