Cleveland Indians Draft OF Will Benson with 14th Pick

Cleveland Indians Draft High School OF Will Benson with 14th Pick

With the 14th selection in the 2016 Major Leauge Draft, the Cleveland Indians selected high school outfielder Will Benson.

Benson hails out of Atlanta, Georgia where he attended Westminster High School. He’s an outstanding athlete, playing both baseball and basketball. He played both outfield and first base in high school. He’s very young and raw (turns 18 on June 16th). He left-hander offers a ton of projection with that big 6’6″ frame. He has gotten comps to Jason Heyward, likely due to the size and location. Has the same athleticism but more power and less bat skills.

Benson hit .369/.486/.750 with 6 home runs as a senior in high school this season. Despite some concerns over holes in his swing, he struck out only 10 times while collecting 18 walks. He’s got plus bat speed as well, which the Indians love. Defense is not his forte but scouts feel he could manage to play a decent right field with work. The Indians announced him as an outfielder and will look to try him out there with first base as a fall back option.

His best attribute is his power, which profiles to be a true plus skill, similar to former draft pick Bobby Bradley. He’s still a long, long ways from being big league ready. He has a lot of holes in his swing and will need a lot of coaching; however, the talent is there if he can improve.

A bit of a surprise pick going this high. He has a commit to Duke Unversity; however, he’s already told media he plans to sign, which makes one wonder if the Tribe feels they can get him to sign under slot ($2,973,700). The Indians obviously love the bat and think the hit tool will improve. They passed on a lot of talent in guys like Blake Rutherford and Forrest Whitley. The Indians have two more picks on Day 1 of the draft at 55 and 72.