At the beginning of this season the Twins assigned their second round pick from 2006, Joe Benson, to Beloit. Considering that the average age of the players in the Midwest League is 22 or 23, they likely expected that a 19 year old player less than a year out of high school would struggle. And Benson did struggle, however, has improved every month to the point that he is now one of the teams better players and the Snappers’ lead off hitter.
In April, Benson hit .175 Average in 63 at bats with 1 triple, 7 runs scored, 3 rbi, 5 walks and 20 strikeouts. May was better as he hit for a .230 Average in 87 at bats with 6 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home run, 15 runs scored, 8 rbi, 9 walks and 19 strikeouts. He continued to improve some aspects of his game in June with a .258 Average in 62 at bats with 3 doubles, 1 home run, 7 runs, 7 rbi, 8 walks and 18 strikeouts. Then in July, he made considerable improvement with a .275 Average in 102 at bats with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 23 runs scored, 14 rbi, 13 walks and 32 strikeouts.
Benson continues to strike out at an unacceptable pace, however, he has made considerable improvement in all other aspects of his game including base running with 6 stolen bases in 8 attempts during July (for the season, he has 15 stolen bases in 26 attempts). This past week was his best yet as he had 12 hits in 27 at bats (.444 Average) with 7 runs scored, 6 rbi, 1 double, 1 triple and 1 home run.
This week’s performance by Benson was worthy of recognition as the Player of the Week and has certainly helped bring his Average up to .248 on the season. He is also proving that he could soon be on the horizon as a potential top prospect for the Twins center field position shortly after they move into their new stadium.
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