Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The return of Joe Benson

The news was short of earthshaking, which is why it was the Rochester Red Wings announcing it rather than the parent Twins:

Centeno is next year's version of Eric Fryer, catching depth. Thompson we saw quite a bit of early in 2015; if he's in next spring's bullpen, I will view it as a bad sign.

And Benson is sort of the prodigal son returning.

Around the time the Twins experenced their big collapse, Benson was viewed as a hot outfield prospect. Big, strong, fast, dripping with tools. But his career ran aground on injuries and his chronic inability to control his strike zone. The Twins waived him after he didn't make the team in 2013; he finished that season in the Rangers system. He spent 2014 in the Marlins system. He split 2015 between independent ball, the Mets system and the Braves system.

He'll turn 28 in March, and he hasn't been back in the majors since his cuppa coffee in September 2011. Despite a little Twitter chatter Monday afternoon about his chances of landing the fourth outfielder job, I don't see much chance for him this year either.

Benson's biggest problem: So much of hitting depends on the batter's ability to decide, practically as the pitcher releases the ball: Strike or ball, what's the velocity, hittable or not. He just doesn't have that ability, and all the other athletic tools are wasted by that flaw.

No comments:

Post a Comment