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Draft | Prospect Scouting Reports | 4/8/2016

2016 MLB Draft Pack: April 8

David Rawnsley         Jheremy Brown         Andrew Krause        
Photo: Perfect Game

Once a week leading up to the 2016 MLB Draft Perfect Game will provide detailed scouting reports, and video (when available) on 10 of the top draft-eligible prospects. The first report each week will be available for free, the rest can be viewed with a PG Insider subscription. To learn more about Perfect Game's subscription packages and to sign up today please visit this link.

March 18 MLB Draft PackJosh Lowe, Matt Manning, A.J. Puk, Nick Senzel, Mike Shawaryn, Alex Speas, Bryan Reynolds, Blake Rutherford, Taylor Trammell, Robert Tyler.

March 25 MLB Draft Pack: Braxton Garrett, Dakota Hudson, Connor Jones, Reggie Lawson, Kyle Lewis, Drew Mendoza, Mickey Moniak, Corey Ray, Buddy Reed, Forrest Whitley

April 1 MLB Draft Pack: Bryson Brigman, Zack Collins, Carlos Cortes, Jason Groome, Daulton Jefferies, Chris Okey, Delvin Perez, Nicholas Quintana, Cole Ragans, Logan Shore



Prospects covered this week: Will Benson, Austin Bergner, Zack Burdi, Luis Curbelo, Zac Galen, Anfernee Grier, Zach Jackson, Nolan Jones, Riley Pint, Matt Thaiss





Will Benson – OF/1B

Height/Weight: 6-5/225
Bats/Throws: L/L
Birthdate: June 16, 1998
High School: The Westminster Schools
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Travel Team: East Cobb Astros
Commitment: Duke
Projected Draft Round: 1S-2

Every year there are a couple of top baseball prospects that look, in physical appearance and tools, like they missed their calling as a future football standout. With apologies to Kansas shortstop Nonie Williams, who looks and tests out like a future NFL safety, the top NFL Body in the 2016 class belongs to Georgia outfielder Will Benson.

Notably, neither Benson nor Williams has any background in football. If they had, we may not be hearing about them today as baseball players.

Benson's 6-foot-5, 225-pound build and raw physical tools look like what every SEC football team wants in a developing tight end or defensive end. Combine that present size and projectability with 6.5 speed in the 60-yard dash and you have a high-level athlete.

Benson's baseball tools aren't limited to his physicality and speed, though. Although he has played extensively at first base in his development, Benson has pure right field tools on defense, including a present plus throwing arm on the pro scouting scale.

Offensively, Benson's raw strength and quick-twitch nature create the ability to impact the ball very, very hard. A squared up Benson line drive to the pull side is one of those things where the ball will just carry and carry well beyond where you originally think it will end up. He physically overpowers the ball as much as swings and hits through it.

The issue that keeps Benson from being a first round consideration, at least in this scout's evaluation, is that Benson's lefthanded swing is almost unnaturally short and has a severe cutoff out front. That lack of extension will create issues with Benson in the future with both his power potential and his plate coverage if it can't be corrected. The bat speed and strength at contact are unmistakable, however.

The completely natural and understandable comparison for Benson is to fellow Atlanta area native Jason Heyward, another NFL body type prospect at the same age with a first base background and outstanding raw athleticism. Like Benson, Heyward had some stiffness to his swing at the same age but was able to work through it better with distinctly more extension through contact. It's worth mentioning that Benson, like Heyward, has played with East Cobb Astros since a young age, is extremely young for his graduating class and is a plus makeup young athlete with a scholarship to Duke. 
(DR)


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