Continuing on the trend of prep hitters, let’s take a look at a trio of outfielders who could figure into the Los Angeles Dodgers’ plans in the first round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft.
Will Benson, The Westminster Schools (Georgia)
Position(s): RF, 1B
Comparing amateur players to Major Leaguers can sometimes be difficult or irresponsible. No 17 year old should be named alongside Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw. However, sometimes the comp is so obvious it’s hard to ignore it. Such is the case with Benson.
The first thing you think of when you see Benson is “Wow, he looks just like Jason Heyward.” They have similar body types, swings and move similarly. They’re even both from the Atlanta area. However, Benson will likely go 10 to 20 spots lower than Heyward did on draft day.
Benson has the raw tools to be a first-rounder, but the emphasis should be on raw. His raw power stands out but he’s been unable to consistently display it in games due to his constantly changing swing mechanics, and that’s also impacted his ability to make contact.
He’ll show at least average speed and arm strength in the outfield, and if he can’t stick in a corner he’ll have to move to first base.
Any team that drafts Benson will need a track record of developing hitters. Atlanta makes sense geographically, and due to the fact that they have the fourth-highest bonus pool in the draft. However, if the Dodgers wanted to make a splash, they could take a run at Benson at No. 32 or No. 36, assuming they have a solid feel for his bonus demands.
It’s doubtful Benson makes it to Duke’s campus, but taking time to develop in college wouldn’t be the worst thing for him.
CONTINUE READING: Young outfielder with talent to play Division 1 football