The Cincinnati Reds made a really interesting move on Wednesday.
They acquired outfielder Will Benson from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for fellow outfielder Justin Boyd and a player to be named later or cash considerations.
It’s a very nice gamble by a Cincinnati team that needs to add and test as much talent as possible.
If there is someone with a promising profile, it’s Benson.
For starters, he was a first-round pick by a savvy Guardians team back in 2016.
Contact issues plagued him in 61 MLB plate appearances last year, as he slashed a poor .182/.250/.200.
However, he made huge strides in Triple-A last season that make him a worthwhile gamble for the Reds.
He is just 24 and was very much blocked in a stacked Guardians system.
He was hitting .279/.426/.522 with 17 homers, 45 RBI, and 16 stolen bases in just 89 games at Triple-A Columbus in 2022.
Perhaps the biggest development was how he trimmed his strikeout rate from 39.3 percent in 2021 to 22.7 percent in 2022 at Triple-A.
“New Reds outfielder Will Benson showed off some of the most impressive raw power in the minors last season. Easy 70 grade. Cut his strikeout rate by nearly 10% in Triple-A and is ready for everyday looks at the MLB level. I don’t think GABP holds this one,” Aram Leighton tweeted.
New Reds outfielder Will Benson showed off some of the most impressive raw power in the minors last season. Easy 70 grade. Cut his strikeout rate by nearly 10% in Triple-A and is ready for everyday looks at the MLB level. I don't think GABP holds this one.
🎥: @CLBClippers pic.twitter.com/AB6X1v8Frz
— Aram Leighton (@AramLeighton8) February 9, 2023
Yes, he struggled in the majors, but time and some patience by the Reds may help him become a quality regular at some point in 2023.
His combination of power and speed make him an intriguing target for a rebuilding squad like Cincinnati.
Hopefully the franchise can help him continue his development and gives him ample playing time, and understands that there will inevitably be some bumps along the way.NEXT: Joey Votto Spotted Enjoying A Surprising Sport