OF Will Benson (AA/AAA)
Ranked No. 26 in Prospect1500’s list of the Indians’ top minor league players.
Will Benson has been a top guy in the organization’s minor league systems for some time. Never being too high on the list but always being high enough to warrant consideration by the scouts.
The problem with Will Benson is that historically he’s never shown much. He’s got power, and that’s the reason people pay attention to him. A player like Jose Ramirez will have close to 600 at-bats in a full year. For Ramirez, his best season home run-wise saw him hit a home run in 6% of his at-bats. A good clip for a high-end power hitter. Benson hit around 5% in back-to-back-to-back years. He would be hitting around 30-home runs per year in the Majors at that clip.
The problem is his home runs are almost a quarter of all of his hits. In 2017, Ramirez only had 16% of his hits be home runs. He was far more likely to put the ball in play than pulling something for a home run. That’s the sign of a complete hitter. He also only had 69 strikeouts that year or about 12% of his at-bats. Benson, for all of his power, has no plate vision at all. He’s had three straight seasons of 130+ strikeouts and strikes out 37% of the time.
His splits for this year are .211/.359/.446 with an OPS of 805. This is actually a good year batting-average-wise for the 23-year-old outfielder. He’s got tremendous power but very little plate discipline and considering that’s the problem facing the major league lineup, that means Benson is far from ready to call up.