The Cleveland Guardians have really shown their impressive prospect depth this season.
Young franchise cornerstones Andres Gimenez, Josh Naylor, Konnor Pilkington, Triston McKenzie, Owen Miller, and Steven Kwan have established themselves as important contributors this year.
Nolan Jones was recently called up, too, as was Alex Call.
Yet the Guardians are adding another prospect to that mix: outfielder Will Benson.
“#Guardians are promoting 24-year-old OF prospect Will Benson from Triple-A Columbus to make his MLB debut. Benson currently leads the International League in OPS .948, OBP .426 and walks with 75,” Guardians Prospective tweeted.
#Guardians are promoting 24-year-old OF prospect Will Benson from Triple-A Columbus to make his MLB debut. Benson currently leads the International League in OPS .948, OBP .426 and walks with 75.#ForTheLand
— Guardians Prospective (@CleGuardPro) August 1, 2022
Benson is listed as a 6-foot-5, 230-pound physical specimen with the ability to hit for power and also move his legs.
A Power-Speed Threat With Excellent On-Base Skills
He is having a fantastic season in Triple-A to this point, slashing .278/.426/.522.
He also has 17 home runs, 75 runs, and 16 stolen bases, showing his impressive power-speed combo.
His most impressive trait, however, should be his excellent plate discipline.
That OBP is among the highest of the International League.
If he plays to the top of his abilities, Benson could be a fixture in the Guardians lineup for years to come, and would be one of the most unique players in the league.
FanGraphs’ prospect expert Eric Longenhagen didn’t rank Benson in his top-48 Guardians prospects post before the season, noting that he “had a 30% barrel rate in 2021 but doesn’t make enough contact to make the main list.”
That may have changed this season, though: as he failed Triple-A last year but is acing it this time around.
To do that, adjustments are required, and Benson apparently made them.
He, at the very least, deserves the benefit of the doubt and some plate appearances in MLB to prove his worth.
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