Cleveland Guardians prospect Will Benson gets his shot in the majors
Whether it’s hitting home runs like it’s nothing, or drawing walks to get on base, Will Benson has been a standout star for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers this season.
And now, he gets his shot in the majors, as Benson was promoted to the Cleveland Guardians on Monday.
Benson, who has had a phenomenal season on offense in his sixth professional year, is expected to contribute right away for a Guardians front office looking to showcase its farm system.
With the recent flare-up in first baseman Josh Naylor’s ankle injury and the recent news that Franmil Reyes cleaned out his locker and may be moved to Triple-A, Benson has prime opportunities to make himself known at different positions and lineup orders.
He has been primarily placed in right field due to his extremely strong throwing power but has also played left field and center field at times in his career, which gives the Guardians a few different areas to play him.
He’s also a quick player who can make plays on base, despite his 6’5″ 230-pound size, and has stolen 16 bases this season (and 86 in his career).
At the plate, Benson slashed .279/.426/.522 to go alongside 88 hits,17 home runs, 20 doubles, and 45 RBIs.
With his plate production comes a slight issue with striking out.
In 316 at-bats this season, he struck out 91 times, and in the entirety of his career he has struck out 680 times in 1,881 at-bats.
Those numbers accumulate for a 29% strikeout rate at the plate in 2022, and a 36% strikeout rate throughout his career.
Although he’s become much better at not striking out this season and making consistent contact when hitting, the concern is still prevalent as he enters a much higher pitching level in the majors.
What did we see in Will Benson’s major-league debut?
In his debut, Benson had just a glimpse of major-league action against the Diamondbacks.
He did not play much, but in the tenth inning he grounded out to first base. In the 11th, he was put on second base and advanced to third off an Austin Hedges bunt.
He would then be able to score the game-winning run off an Amed Rosario single into right field, securing his first major-league run scored.
Although it was not much action, the satisfaction of scoring the game-winning run in his major-league debut had to have been a great feeling for the young prospect.
The DH role, right field, and first base positions are roles in which the Cleveland Guardians could utilize Will Benson in the coming games.
With gaudy power, an elite arm, and speed that often does not come with an outfielder of his size, Benson will be a force in the majors if he continues his plate consistency.