Former 2016 first round draft pick Will Benson won the LGT reader vote yesterday, so it’s time to say some good things about him.
Drafted out of Westminster High School in Atlanta, Benson has a 6-foot-5, 225 pound frame that makes scouts drool. His 2017 was a tale of two halves, beginning the year with a rough .169/.244/.296 slashline over the first month, but from July 17th to the end of the season on September 6th, Benson raked to the tune of .275/.399/.573 with a wRC+ of 187.
Benson hit just one home run in the first month, but blasted nine longballs over the final month and a half, good enough to lead the New York Penn League with 10 on the season.
The 19-year-old has elite power potential, but contact rate is an issue. Even during his hot stretch, Benson struck out 29.7 percent of the time, although he made up for that by walking at a rate of nearly 16 percent.
Benson is expected to make his full season debut this year with Single-A Lake County in what should be one of the most exciting teams in the Indians’ farm system. If he can continue to make positive adjustments, his stock could rise significantly in 2018.
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 12 PROSPECT FOR 2018?
Aaron Civale, RHP (Age 22)
2017 (A): 10 GS, 57.0 IP, 22.5 K%, 2.1 BB%, 4.58 ERA, 2.51 FIP
2017 (A+): 17 GS, 107.2. IP, 21.1 K%, 2.2 BB%, 2.59 ERA, 3.40 FIP
Converted reliever impressed mightily after being promoted to High-A Lynchburg in 2017. Has the best slider in the Indians system, according to Baseball America.
Tyler Freeman, SS (Age 18)
2017 (R): 144 PA, .297/.364/.414, 2 HR, 5 SB, 4.9 BB%, 8.3 K%, 116 wRC+
The second pick by the Indians in the 2017 draft, Freeman had the most success of any prep player that debuted in the system last season. Might have trouble sticking at shortstop.
Eric Haase, C (Age 25)
2017 (AAA): 8 PA, .333/.500/.833, 1 HR, 0 SB, 12.5 BB%, 25.0 K%, 262 wRC+
2017 (AA): 381 PA, .258/.349/.574, 26 HR, 4 SB, 11.5 BB%, 30.4 K%, 150 wRC+
Strikes out, but makes up for it with power due to elevated swing plane. Led Akron in home runs in 2017. Earned significant offensive reps despite being the back-up catcher to Francisco Mejia.
Quentin Holmes, OF (Age 18)
2017 (R): 169 PA, .182/.220/.289, 2 HR, 5 SB, 4.7 BB%, 36.1 K%, 39 wRC+
The first pick by the Indians in the 2017 draft. Holmes was the fastest player in the draft and possesses, legitimately, 80-grade speed. Plenty of room for development hailing from a northern climate in New York.
Mitch Longo, OF (Age 23)
2017 (A+): 20 PA, .563/.650/.688, 0 HR, 2 SB, 20.0 BB%, 10.0 K%, 283 wRC+
2017 (A): 232 PA, .361/.431/.530, 4 HR, 18 SB, 9.9 BB%, 15.1 K%, 170 wRC+
Despite missing the beginning of the season with an injury, had the most impressive offensive performance of any Indians prospect in 2017. Also stole 20 bases in 21 attempts.
Julian Merryweather, RHP (Age 26)
2017 (AAA): 16 GS, 78 IP, 21.3 K%, 7.0 BB%, 6.58 ERA, 3.89 FIP
2017 (AA): 9 GS, 50.2 IP, 25.5 K%, 4.9 BB%, 3.38 ERA, 3.10 FIP
Has the best-rated fastball in the Indians system, hitting the upper 90s. Struggled after being promoted to Triple-A in 2017 but has the command to succeed. Should make his MLB debut in 2018.
Johnathan Rodriguez, OF (Age 18)
2017 (R): 119 PA, .250/.381/.333, 0 HR, 0 SB, 17.6 BB%, 19.3 K%, 108 wRC+
The youngest player in the 2017 MLB draft, has a good eye at the plate and a great throwing arm. Has a very projectable frame at 6-foot-3 with the potential to develop power although he doesn’t have any yet.
Who should be the No. 12 Indians prospect?
This poll is closed