The collective groans of Reds fans could have been heard all the way up in Nick Krall's office at the end of last month. Not this guy again.
Admit it, when the Cincinnati Reds recalled Will Benson on May 26th, you were anything but inspired. After all, the Reds had just sent Benson back to Triple-A only a few days earlier after TJ Friedl returned from his stint on the IL.
But, a shoulder injury suffered by Wil Myers necessitated return to the active roster for Benson. Since getting a second chance, Benson has not looked back and has been on fire over the past few weeks. A big reason for Benson's success has been avoiding those pesky strikeouts.
Drop in Ks has fueled Will Benson's reemergence with the Reds.
Since returning to the Cincinnati Reds roster, Will Benson has been one of the most consistent bats in the lineup. Over the past 12 games, according to FanGraphs, Benson is slashing an impressive .313/.389/.469 with a wRC+ of 130.
This is the version of Benson that Reds fans were hoping to see after Cincinnati swung a trade for the former Cleveland Guardians farmhand during the offseason.
Benson earned a spot on the Reds Opening Day roster after his stellar performance during spring training. Benson had 16 hits in 17 Cactus League games and showed off his speed and arm strength on several occasions.
But strikeouts haunted Benson's first few weeks in the bigs this season. Through his first 21 plate appearances, Benson's strikeout-rate was an appalling 57.1-percent. But, since his return, that number has been reduced to 16.7-percent. He's also taking his free passes more than 10-percent of the time.
The Cincinnati Reds are going to have some interesting roster decisions when players like Joey Votto, Nick Senzel, and Jake Fraley return to the lineup in the coming weeks. But Will Benson is doing his best to not make that drive back down I-71 to Louisville.
If Benson keeps slugging like he has since his return, the 24-year-old is going to make it tough on the Cincinnati front office to send him back to the minor leagues. Benson possess the type of raw talent that few players on this Reds roster do, and he's finally getting a chance to show it.