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Joe Benson

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#1 Jontler

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

William Joseph Benson
Position: Outfielder
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Age: 24
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 205 lb.

Joe Benson was a two-sport high school athlete. Attending Joliet Catholic Academy in Illinois, football recruitment began as early as his sophomore year. A long summer of baseball following his junior year saw him choosing to pursue baseball instead of football, and he ended up signing a letter of intent to play baseball for Purdue. (1)However, when the Twins selected him in the second round of the 2006 Rule IV draft on June 6, Benson wasted no time. He signed with the Twins on June 10th, receiving a $575,000 signing bonus.(2)


Benson debuted with Minnesota's Rookie League affiliate, the Elizabethton Twins, on June 20, 2006 against the Billings Mustangs. The game saw him collect his first professional hit, a single, as well as his first walk, run-batted-in, stolen base, and strikeout. His first multi-hit game and extra-base hit would come the following day, with his first home run coming on July 10. Benson stayed with Elizabethton for most of the 2006 season, enjoying good success in that first professional season with a .260/.335/.444 triple-slash line. At the end of the year, he was promoted to the Beloit Snappers, receiving a paltry 19 plate appearances in Low-A ball before the season ended.(3)

As a high school draftee, Benson followed the same slow development track that so many high school draftees follow. He remained with Beloit for all of 2007 and 2008, though missed the second half of 2008 with a stress fracture in his back. Regardless, Minnesota promoted him to High-A Fort Myers to begin the 2009 season. Joe suffered a hand fracture after punching a wall in early May, causing him to miss almost two months. (2) (4) He finished out the year in High-A, and began 2010 in Double-A.

Benson hit a meager .169 in April of 2010, a slow start to his Double-A career. Although he picked it up in May, Minnesota sent him back down to High-A for 21 games and then promoted him back up to New Britain.(5) He would finish the year there, putting up an impressive triple-slash of .251/.336/.527. Despite this, the Twins had him repeat 2011 in Double-A.

2011 was a mixed bag for Benson. He reduced his K-rate to 23.1% from 27.2% the year before and bumped his walk rate by 2.7%, making more contact and increasing his average. However, his slugging percentage fell 32 points to .495 and he was forced to have meniscus surgery in July, missing a month. (2)

Whether it was his increased patience and contact, his decreased strikeout rate, or his age and the Twins' general woes, Minnesota saw fit to give Joe Benson the call to The Show on September 6, 2011 against the Chicago White Sox. He drew a full count walk in his first plate appearance and collected his first hit against Max Scherzer in Detroit on the 10th. (1) (3)

While Benson's September call-up was hardly impressive, the 74 plate appearances should not be seen as indicative of anything. He is currently listed as a the third overall Twins' prospect by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus. (6) The Rochester Red Wings, Minnesota's Triple-A affiliate, are currently enjoying his services. He's well regarded as a plus-defensive outfielder with good range, a great arm, and good power. His strikeout rate remains high, but a supporting walk rate with the power makes it a tolerable flaw.

As of this writing, Benson has 62 accumulated plate appearances in 15 games for the Red Wings. His triple-slash line sits at .180/.323/.240, with all of the usual Small Sample Size Theater warnings applied. (7)

Edited by Jontler, 24 April 2012 - 06:39 AM.


#2 Jontler

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:29 PM

After a rough night last night and a similarly rough start today, Joe Benson hit his first home run of the season in game 1 of Rochester's doubleheader with Syracuse. Benson batted fifth for the Red Wings last night. The game opened with three straight singles before Ryan Perry, the Syracuse starter, walked in the first run of the game. After a coaching visit to the mound, Perry got Benson to ground into a run-scoring double play, limiting the damage on the inning. Benson hit worm burners again in both the third and fifth, the former a fielders choice and the latter a ground out. He struck out to lead off the eighth and broke the hearts of Red Wings fans again in the ninth, striking out on three straight pitches with one out and the bases loaded. Today didn't start any better. Benson dropped down to sixth in the order and led off the second inning with a strikeout. He popped out in the fourth and grounded out in the sixth. Down by three in the extra-innings eighth (h/t Seth), with Aaron Bates on first and two out, Benson fell behind 0-2 to Syracuse lefty Atahualpa Severino. He took a high and away ball one and then connected for a line drive home run to draw the game to within one. The Red Wings couldn't pull it out, Benson did manage to break his mini slump. Game two of the doubleheader is underway now. Benson is batting sixth and is currently 0 for 1 with a fly out. The Red Wings are leading 1-0.

#3 Jontler

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:09 AM

After starting the AAA season with 108 plate appearances of .179/.269/.316 ball, the Twins have demoted Joe Benson to Double-A New Britain. The move makes room on the roster to call up Pedro Florimon to replace Brian Dozier, who himself is headed to the bigs. ETA: Clete Thomas, after clearing waivers, is the outfielder that'll be taking Benson's roster spot in Rochester. Benson is 24 years old and has already spent two seasons at New Britain, where he has been effective previously (.374 and .388 wOBA in 2010 and 2011, respectively). Benson experienced a similar demotion when he first arrived in Double-A, being sent down to High-A after a slow start to the season only to be called back up 21 games later. This, of course, is more alarming, as Benson is a few years older and should be looking to break into the big leagues soon.

Edited by Jontler, 07 May 2012 - 09:12 AM.


#4 Seth Stohs

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

According to Paul Molitor in his weekly interview on 1500 espn, Benson will be having surgery on his hamate bone. Could miss at least 6 weeks.

#5 PopRiveter

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:52 PM

It may be good news if an injury explains this year's decline in production. Benson should be instilling hope for a better 2013 for the MLB team, not falling back down the ladder.

#6 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 10:02 PM

Benson started his rehab with GCL Twins today 0-2 2K...

#7 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:49 AM

Benson back today, batting leadoff for GCL single & caught stealing walk & scored on a Byron Buxton double 2nd time up finished 2-3 w/bb sb....prob stay a wk(???) with AA all start break next Mon

Edited by greengoblinrulz, 05 July 2012 - 12:15 PM.


#8 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 02:47 PM

Find it interesting that Benson isnt on rehab at Ft Myers but has been reassigned there. Do we take anything from that, or with Bigley, Hicks & Arcia in AA...there is no spot for him?? OF course, that go with our ROC OF's who have no one to answer to (Carson, Ramirez, Thomas) regardless of how they play.

#9 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:11 PM

Tom Kelly just said on Twins broadcast that they expect Benson to be back in New Brit on Monday

#10 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:20 PM

Tom Kelly just said on Twins broadcast that they expect Benson to be back in New Brit on Monday


I heard TK say that as well (and more featured in tonight's Minor League Roundup), but find it interesting in that NB's currently got a full roster, so there must be more moves as well. (DL'ing someone would be easy... wondering if its the end of the line for someone.)

#11 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:33 PM

I heard TK say that as well (and more featured in tonight's Minor League Roundup), but find it interesting in that NB's currently got a full roster, so there must be more moves as well. (DL'ing someone would be easy... wondering if its the end of the line for someone.)

With TKs comments on Evan Bigley...(said basically he's a future MLB player & likes him alot), could he be goin up to ROC & we've seen the end of Clete Thomas perhaps!!!! Nate Roberts could go up to Ft Myers to take Benson's spot......avalanche effect hopefully.

#12 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:43 PM

Possibly, but I would be surprised if it went down that way. Steven Liddle would be most likely to head from Beloit to Fort Myers. I've also learned it's darn near impossible to predict these waves, so I try not to...

#13 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:53 PM

Possibly, but I would be surprised if it went down that way. Steven Liddle would be most likely to head from Beloit to Fort Myers. I've also learned it's darn near impossible to predict these waves, so I try not to...


If Liddle gets the promotion over Roberts.....it really goes to show the good ole boys network is still workin. Its not how you play, but who you're related to in this organizaion. Wouldnt surprise me either tho.

#14 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 02:00 PM

Cool, let's hope Benson is great for the rest of the year, and ready for the majors in 2013.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#15 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 02:13 PM

If Liddle gets the promotion over Roberts.....it really goes to show the good ole boys network is still workin. Its not how you play, but who you're related to in this organizaion. Wouldnt surprise me either tho.


I think it would be a better indicator that the Twins are willing to not give Liddle a ton of at-bats. The outfield - even minus Benson - is still crowded. I would guess Morales slides to CF, Ortiz continues to get lots of at bats, Rams, Tosoni and Ray can split the other at bats. I want Roberts to play everyday - something he's still not doing in Beloit. But this is probably a discussion for another thread (that will start when Benson gets promoted tomorrow and a corresponding move is made).

#16 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 12:35 PM

Benson since coming off the DL......admittingly it was GCL, High A/AA....14gms 18/51 .353/.431/.510 10r 5doubles 1HR 10rbi 7bb 11k 5/7sb Done everything he can in AA & was sent back initially to get his hitting stoke back. Its back, so get him back to AAA for a couple wks till we need an OF after Span is dealt.

Edited by greengoblinrulz, 18 July 2012 - 12:47 PM.


#17 boney

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 12:49 PM

I like Benson a lot. Hopefully he can keep his head on straight and make it back up to stay someday. It would be nice to have a guy that has no problem running over a catcher to score the big run again. I've never seen him do it but I have no problem in assuming that he would :D.

#18 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:45 PM

3/8 in 3gms w/GCL 1run 1double 2k 1bb 1/2sb 10/33 in 8gms wtih Ft Myers 7runs 3doubles HR 8rbi 9k 5bb 4/4sb Now first 11gms back w/New Brit 12/42 8runs 3doubles triple HR 12rbi 7k 4bb 1/3sb 22gms thru July 28th....25/83 .301/.376/.482 16 runs 7doubles triple 2HR 20rbi 18k 10bb 6/9sb

#19 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:46 PM

Typical Benson week. Was 15/47 upon his return to New Brit (.319BA with a .510slgg). Then went into a 2-24 stretch this wk but in true Benson way, 3rd AB today was a grand slam and followed it up w/RBI single & finished it up w/rbi double (only credited it w/one rbi but it was 2nd/3rd & both scored) Still wonder how team views him. When Terry Ryan was asked about him last SUN (?? was about him hitting well), Ryan responded that at age 24, he should be hitting AA pitching well. HUH? Hermann/Collabello/Romero/Tosoni/Hanson/Roof/DeLos Santos are all as old/older than Benson in AA. Did say they expect him to reach AAA this yr (again huh?? reach??)

Edited by greengoblinrulz, 05 August 2012 - 04:04 PM.


#20 drjim

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 04:57 PM

Typical Benson week. Was 15/47 upon his return to New Brit (.319BA with a .510slgg).
Then went into a 2-24 stretch this wk but in true Benson way, 3rd AB today was a grand slam and followed it up w/RBI single & finished it up w/rbi double (only credited it w/one rbi but it was 2nd/3rd & both scored)

Still wonder how team views him.
When Terry Ryan was asked about him last SUN (?? was about him hitting well), Ryan responded that at age 24, he should be hitting AA pitching well. HUH? Hermann/Collabello/Romero/Tosoni/Hanson/Roof/DeLos Santos are all as old/older than Benson in AA. Did say they expect him to reach AAA this yr (again huh?? reach??)


I would imagine the team expected more out of him this year. He'll have to hit consistently before they move him to AAA and good for the Twins, make him earn it.
Comparing him to marginal and non-prospects doesn't really do much to elevate him.
Papers...business papers.

#21 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:55 PM

I would imagine the team expected more out of him this year. He'll have to hit consistently before they move him to AAA and good for the Twins, make him earn it.
Comparing him to marginal and non-prospects doesn't really do much to elevate him.

wasnt only the Ryan comment to me....just others from him/Paul Molitor/ Gardy last Sept & even Billy Smith.
Just never heard positive feedback on him. Could be that the organization doesnt give that out much, but its a vibe I get from hearing about him.
After 3 yrs there, how much does he have to prove to earn a re-promotion???

#22 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:04 PM

Benson done for the year after knee surgery.....what a complete waste of a season

#23 gunnarthor

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:19 AM

Benson done for the year after knee surgery.....what a complete waste of a season


Bit of an understatement. Hit rock bottom, grabbed a shovel kept digging, hit a water pipe, started drowning ....

At least Arcia and Hicks had good years for us.

#24 stringer bell

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:35 AM

I wonder how much of Benson's struggles this year can be attributed to health. That is the only positive spin one can put on his struggles all year.

#25 Shane Wahl

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:39 AM

I feel quite sorry for him. His season has a ripple effect through the system (trading Span or Revere, and/or other OF prospects could have occurred if Benson had repeated AA numbers at AAA this season).

#26 Seth Stohs

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:19 AM

I wonder how much of Benson's struggles this year can be attributed to health. That is the only positive spin one can put on his struggles all year.


Most of it.

#27 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:47 AM

Bummer. Tons of talent, but the Twins (and others?) seem really to dwell on the psychological aspects of his personality when they talk about him (or maybe those are just the comments I remember?). Hopefully he's healhty and productive next year. I still am a believer.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#28 Seth Stohs

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:35 AM

I'm definitely still a believer... I just think that the injuries just never allowed him to get consistent at bats. Just when he got to a comfort level, there was another injury... Hopefully he can come to spring training healthy and strong and go from there.

#29 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:43 AM

IMO....Mn knows Benson has talent, but they dont believe in him. Never hear a positive word about him.
Wont be shocked if he's dealt this offseaon in a package for a pitcher

#30 Seth Stohs

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:26 PM

According to LaVelle E Neal via Twitter: "Joe Benson faces three months of rehab after left knee surgery. There's a bone problem under the kneecap."

The surgery was expected to have just a one month recovery. With this news, it means he won't be going to the AFL. He should be ready for spring training... and what he needs is a turn of the calendar year... HOpefully 2013 will find Benson with much more health.