27. Garrett Benge
It’s a run on “Hunter Noll Guys”. Garrett Benge is that other third base prospect I was talking about with Osinski. He’s been phenomenal but the big-name prospects ahead of him at the position have buried his accomplishments.
Coming into this year, Benge had played all 45 games he appeared in at third base. This year he played 14 at third and 17 at first base. It wasn’t the defense that made headlines though.
In 41 games this season, Benge was ridiculous. He slashed .333/.450/.461 with 23 runs scored and 19 RBI. The left-handed hitter’s OBP stands out but is even more impressive when you dig a little deeper.
Benge struck out 25 times this year while walking 30. You’re reading that right – he walked more times than he struck out this season.
Admittedly, Benge isn’t the best fielder and isn’t going to get many steals. The move to first could help him a lot defensively, but he hasn’t exactly looked smooth in the field.
The bat, on the other hand, is superb. The home run potential isn’t high but he can hit to all sides of the field. He makes solid contact and does it often. I’ve always been a contact-over-power guy, and Benge plays right into that narrative.
The 22-year-old is buried at the moment with all the star-power at third (and even first). That shouldn’t be the case for much longer though. Benge has done nothing but draw walks and has good at-bats since joining the Red Sox system. At some point that will get him noticed.
Things could be sped up exponentially if he improves defensively.