Will Benson's return to Reds lineup could provide added punch after minor league excursion

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Will Benson
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Will Benson / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Will Benson is back! The Cincinnati Reds recalled Benson and placed outfielder Henry Ramos on the 10-day IL just before Saturday's game against the New York Yankees. Ramos suffered a right hip strain.

Benson had been part of the Reds Opening Day lineup earlier this season, but the former Cleveland Guardians farmhard looked terribly lost at the plate and managed a slash line of just .050/.095/.050 with a wRC+ of -70 according to FanGraphs.

It was no wonder why, after only eight games, Benson was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. With TJ Friedl on the Injured List and Nick Senzel firmly entrenched at third base, one would assume that Benson will see considerable time in the outfield over the next few days. Let's hope his trip to the minors did the 24-year-old some good.

Will Benson's return to Reds lineup could provide added punch after minor league excursion.

Will Benson was acquired in a trade during the offseason that saw the Cincinnati Reds ship two former second-round draft picks to the Cleveland Guardians. Cincinnati sent Justin Boyd and Steve Hajjar to Cleveland in exchange for Benson's services.

The former first-round pick was supposed to provide some pop from the left side of the plate, added speed on the base paths, and above-average defense in the Reds outfield.

You could argue that Benson was successful in bringing one of those three attributes to the club, as his defense is certainly better than others. However, Benson had just one hit during his eight games with the big league club earlier this season, and it didn't go for extra bases.

Benson's only other time on base was courtesy of a walk, and in neither instance have the rookie's wheels resulted in a stolen base or even a run scored. Yikes!

But Will Benson needed a tune up. And while no player ever likes to be sent down to the minors, it certainly helped Benson. His fist seven games in Triple-A were more of the same (13 strikeouts in 21 at-bats), but of late, Benson has looked like the player he was during spring training.

Over his last 20 games, Benson is 17-for-70. While that .243 batting average doesn't look very promising, Benson has walked (23) more than he's struck out (21). That keen eye at the dish has resulted in a .433 on-base percentage and .919 OPS.

Now, the only question is whether or not those numbers form Triple-A translate to success in the major leagues. With TJ Friedl nearing a return, Will Benson's time could be short if he doesn't make the most of his opportunities when inserted into the Cincinnati Reds lineup.

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