The Cincinnati Reds have seen so many young players step up this season that inevitably someone is sure to get lost in the shuffle. That someone is Will Benson.
Benson couldn't have gotten off to a worse start in 2023. After landing in Cincinnati following an offseason trade with the Cleveland Guardians, Benson's performance in spring training netted him a spot on the Reds Opening Day roster.
But a nightmarish start to the season saw Benson go 1-for-21 with 12 strikeouts through his first eight games. That horrific beginning to his Reds career forced Cincinnati to option the outfielder to Triple-A. Since his return, Benson has been on an absolute tear.
Will Benson gives the Reds power and speed at the bottom of the batting order.
Will Benson has appeared in 30 games since returning to the Cincinnati Reds in late-May. During that stretch, Benson is hitting .361/.459/.578 with walk-rate of 15.3-percent, a strikeout-rate of 16.3-percent, and a wRC+ of 173 per FanGraphs.
Those are the types of numbers you'd expect from your cleanup hitter, and yet Benson is routinely hitting eighth or ninth in the Reds lineup. Benson has nine extra-base hits and seven stolen bases to boot.
There have been a lot of critics out there suggesting that Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell needs to reshuffle the lineup. You might have to wait until after the All-Star break. For that matter, since the Reds are actually winning more than they're losing, perhaps the batting order is perfectly fine the way it is.
Having Will Benson and Tyler Stephenson consistently in the bottom-third of the Reds batting order will only help turn the lineup over and give the likes of TJ Friedl, Matt McLain, Jonathan India, and Elly De La Cruz more opportunities.