As a low-payroll team competing in a stacked American League, the Guardians have seen a ton of intriguing young players come through their doors and move on to different homes. Such was the case with outfielder Will Benson, whom Cleveland drafted in the first round back in 2016.
Benson only played 28 MLB games for the organization before he was dealt this past offseason to Cincinnati, where he's carved out a nice role. Ahead of the Guardians and Reds squaring off on Wednesday, the young OF reunited with some of his former teammates in a touching moment.
The likes of Steven Kwan, Gabriel Arias, Oscar Gonzalez and Tyler Freeman all came by to hug Benson, who seemed amped up to see them.
Perhaps they wanted to Benson his props for his performance on Tuesday, when he came in cold off of the bench for a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the seventh inning. Luckily for Cleveland's sake, Benson didn't score and the team secured a 3-0 win to begin the series. I'm sure his ex-running mates were happy to see him do his thing, though, especially since it didn't hurt the Guardians' chances of winning.
Benson sadly didn't live up to the hype of being the No. 14 overall pick in Cleveland, which caused the organization to move on earlier this year in order to give extended looks at younger prospects. Hindsight is 20-20, but it's hard to blame the Guardians too much; Benson slashed just /.182/.250/.200 acorss 55 MLB at-bats.
The change of scenery has seemed to do wonders for the outfielder. He's been afforded more playing time in Cincinnati, already logging 70 games played entering Wednesday's contest. Across 185 at-bats, Benson's recored 7 home runs and 20 RBI while slashing a solid /.286/.389/.524.
It's always difficult to see a talented young player take off once they move on, but that's sometimes the nature of the business. Considering the love he still has from players on the roster, there's always a possibility he returns one day.
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