Will Benson is having an interesting stop at Triple-A Louisville. After failing to get out of the box quickly after being named to the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster, Benson was optioned to Triple-A Louisville last month.
The Reds traded outfield prospect Justin Boyd along with right-handed pitcher Steve Hajjar to the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for Benson prior to the start of the 2023 season.
Benson has now appeared in 19 games for the Louisville Bats and is riding an eight-game on-base streak. But looking at Benson's stat line reveals some very wild numbers.
It's been feast or famine for Reds outfielder Will Benson at Triple-A.
Will Benson was just 1-for-21 with the Cincinnati Reds. His lone hit was a single and Benson posted an unsustainable 57.1-percent strikeout-rate and -69 wRC+ according to FanGraphs.
Since arriving in the Derby City, Benson has had some measure of success. He's striking out less, posting a K-rate of nearly 35-percent. But the 24-year-old is also drawing a walk about once every fourth plate appearance.
Since April 27th, Benson has slashed .250/.434/.475 and has a wRC+ of 139. He's had 10 base knocks during that span, including five that have gone for extra bases. The problem, however, is the strikeouts. Benson has five multi-strikeout games during that stretch, including a game in which he donned the golden sombrero.
Benson has tremendous pop in his bat, but he'd better be careful or he'll go the way of Aristides Aquino. You can no longer be a one-trick pony and maintain a spot on a 40-man roster. Aquino learned that last winter, and if Benson is unable to change his approach, he may suffer the same fate.
The Cincinnati Reds would undoubtedly be looking to get Will Benson back up to the major leagues at some point this season, but he's got to find some consistency at the dish. It's crazy to think that a player with an on-base percentage near .400 would struggle to receive a call-up, but he's batting just .180 on the season.