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From the Crow's Nest: The Westminster Schools OF Will Benson

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Benson is a big dude with a big ceiling

Mr. Benson is not yet famous enough to land himself in the ol' photo database. But hey, Mariners!
Mr. Benson is not yet famous enough to land himself in the ol' photo database. But hey, Mariners!
Rich Pilling/Getty Images

Happy Monday and welcome back to the fourth edition of 'From the Crow's Nest', where we're taking a look at a bunch of prospects the Mariners could take with the eleventh overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. After filling the series with college prospects to start things out, we'll be shifting over to high school ball to examine Will Benson, a massive outfielder out of Atlanta with more tools than your dad's shed (oh god I am so sorry for starting your Monday out with that joke; you didn't deserve that).

At A Glance

Name

William Benson

Position

OF

Bats/Throws

L/L

School

The Westminster School (Atlanta, GA)

Ht ; Wt

6’6 ; 220 lbs

Born

6/16/1998

MLB.com prospect rank

18th

BA prospect rank

23rd

The Rundown

Ninety-nine percent of the time, the first thing that stands out about Benson is his massive size. The prep outfielder checks in at 6'6" and 220 pounds and will always be one of the more physically imposing players on the field. The second thing that will pop out at you is his impressive athleticism for someone of his stature, and how easy he makes everything look.

Benson moves well both in the field and on the basepaths and possesses a very fluid swing at the plate. It's the kind of skill set that teams dream of, and one of the reasons it's so hard to establish a potential ceiling for Benson.

Defensively, Benson plays both a strong outfield and first base. He's not an elite defensive player like fellow top outfield prospect Buddy Reed, but he could excel in a corner spot moving forward. Athleticism and plus arm strength will serve him well out there as he rounds into form in the future. Should the outfield not work out for whatever reason, he's already more than comfortable manning first base. Just to be clear, though, he should be more than fine roaming a sea of green.

Benson has made most of his noise at the plate, where he's drawn comparisons to Jason Heyward. While the 2016 class lacks lefty pop, Benson has plenty of it. He has an absurdly quick swing and knows how to use his whole body to generate power. He's more than capable of shortening things up when necessary and becoming more of a contact hitter, but for the most part you'll see a big leg kick and a quick, powerful swing. There are some things that will need to be cleaned up–there are instances on some of his tape where he appears to rotate his hips too early and fall off balance ever so slightly–but I wouldn't consider him to be nearly as raw as a lot of the premiere prep hitters we've seen over the years. Still, like most prep players, whoever selects Benson will need to be patient. He won't be knocking on the MLB door eighteen months from now.

It's tough to project where Benson will land in the draft. There's a scenario where a team falls in love with his ceiling and makes him the first prep position player taken and there's a scenario where he falls all the way down to the late teens. I don't have Dipoto's board in front of me and neither do you, unless you do. In which case, you and I need to hit up (insert your favorite restaurant which totally happens to be my favorite restaurant) and have a conversation. There's a chance Benson winds up a Mariner, though, and From the Crow's Nest is all about chances.

As a parting gift, I leave you with this video of Benson. He does terrible things to a baseball at the 1:01 mark:

Previous From the Crow's Nest prospects

Buddy Reed - OF - University of Florida

Bryan Reynolds - OF - Vanderbilt University

Connor Jones - RHP - University of Virginia