February 7, 2013
Blessed with obnoxiously loud tools, Twins outfielder Joe Benson has found his way onto Baseball Prospectus’s Twins rankings on multiple occasions. To start, here are the strength and weakness write-ups on Benson from each of his appearances on Kevin Goldstein’s top 10 lists.
The Good: On a pure tools level, Benson compares with anyone in the system. He has plus raw power and was beginning to show some signs of tapping into it during the last few weeks of the season. He's also an above-average runner with solid range in center field and good acceleration on the base paths. Despite his overall struggles, he showed a patient approach at the plate as he adjusted to the leadoff role.
The Bad: Benson is still raw in many aspects of the game. He has both a long swing and a hitch in his swing mechanics that combine to limit his ability to make contact. He needs to improve his reads and routes in the outfield, as well as his base-stealing ability.
The Good: On tools alone, Benson ranks with nearly any outfielder in a system rich with them. He has above-average raw power, plus-plus speed, covers more ground in center field than Ben Revere, and his arm also rates as plus. A former football star in high school, he brings that gridiron mentality to every plate appearance while maintaining good plate discipline.