clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Will Benson is our No. 7 Cleveland Indians prospect. Who should be No. 8?

One vote can make a difference, as evidenced by Benson's win yesterday!

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

If you thought the last poll was a two-man race, yesterday's was downright scary as Will Benson ended up eking out a victory over Greg Allen by one single vote, with both men raking in 46 percent of the vote in total.

This was a bit of a shock considering poor Allen has come in second in the last three rounds of voting. Regardless, Benson is definitely one of the promotion's top prospects after being taken with their first round pick in the 2016 MLB draft.

Drafted out of Westminster High School in Atlanta, Georgia, Benson currently profiles as a power-hitting corner outfielder who could potentially transition to first base in the far future.

Benson was pretty much thrown to the fire in the AZL rookie league after being drafted, to mixed results. He was one of the top power hitters in the rookie league, finishing sixth in home runs on the half season with six and was second on his team behind MVP Oscar Gonzalez.

Benson also reached base at a decent rate, walking in 12 percent of his at bats to help him earn a .321 OBP despite a pretty low .209 batting average. He also did a nice job on the basepaths, swiping 10 in 12 attempts.

Now the reason Benson's batting average was so low is one cause for concern. He swung a lot and he missed a lot, striking out at a crazy rate of 32.6 percent of his 2016 at bats. That will definitely be one of the top things he'll have been working on this offseason.

The real test for Benson will be how he responds to all the offseason coaching programs he's been put through heading into his second year with the team considering most of 2016 he spent relying on his own physical gifts. Depending on how coachable he is, he could be a big contributor in the future.

* * *


Greg Allen, OF (Age 24)

2016 (A+): 432 PA, 4 HR, 38 SB, .298/.424/.402, 139 wRC+

2016 (AA): 174 PA, 3 HR, 7 SB, .290/.399/.441, 138 wRC+

Former sixth-round pick who could debut in late 2017. Led all of minor league baseball in runs in 2016 and won the minor league gold glove for center field.

Yu-Cheng Chang, SS (Age 21)

2016 (A+): 477 PA, 13 HR, 11 SB, .259/.332/.463, 117 wRC+

Had a nice rebound year in 2016 after suffering some injuries in 2015. Was one of the youngest players invited to the Arizona Fall League, where he batted .303.

Erik Gonzalez, IF (Age 25)

2016 (AAA): 460 PA, 11 HR, 12 SB, .296/.329/.450, 122 wRC+

2016 (MLB): 17 PA, 0 HR, 0 SB, .313/.353/.313, 83 wRC+

Blocked at SS by Francisco Lindor and likely to be passed as a utility player by Yandy Diaz. Still a capable major-leaguer who could find a permanent home somewhere in a trade.

Nolan Jones, 3B (Age 18)

2016 (R): 134 PA, 0 HR, 3 SB, .257/.388/.339, 118 wRC+

2016 second round pick, Jones walked at almost a 20% clip in 2016, his first season in rookie ball. Has the potential to be a solid all-around player both at the plate and in the field.

Rob Kaminsky, LHP (Age 22)

2016 (AA): 137 IP, 3.28 ERA, 3.91 FIP, .16.1 K%, 8.4 BB%

Acquired from St. Louis for Brandon Moss in 2015, Kaminsky quietly had one of the best seasons out of any of the Tribe's full-season starters last year, helping lead Akron to the Eastern League championship.