Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Joe Benson claimed off waivers by Rangers

    Outfield prospect Joe Benson, who was Minnesota's second-round selection in the 2006 draft, has been claimed by the Texas Rangers and is no longer a member of the Twins organization.

    Benson, 25, was placed on outright waivers after being removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Saturday's starter, P.J. Walters. Although he was ranked by Baseball America as a Top 100 prospect in both 2011 and 2012, Benson's stock has dropped immensely in the past two seasons, mired by injuries and poor performance.

    A center fielder with exceptional athleticism, Benson made his lone major-league appearance in September of 2011, when he joined the Twins for a month after a second consecutive strong season in Class-AA New Britain. He didn't hit much during the audition but his future seemed bright as a 23-year-old already getting his first taste.

    Unfortunately, since then, things have snowballed downward for Benson. Last year he started in Rochester and played so poorly he was demoted back to New Britain. He missed time with a broken wrist early in the season and eventually ended up needing microfracture surgery on his knee. He finished with a .202 average and .624 OPS in 76 games.

    He had hoped to rebound this season but unfortunately his career has only continued to unravel. After a poor showing in spring training, he reported to Triple-A where his struggles continued, hitting just .192 with one homer through 42 games. In 164 plate appearances, Benson has whiffed 50 times while drawing only 10 walks.

    He's a great athlete and he's still not far removed being successful, but Benson's offensive issues over these last two years have been staggering and -- in an organization crowded with outfield prospects -- he found himself the odd man out. The fact that 20 teams passed on him before Texas' turn is telling. Hopefully in the Rangers organization he can turn things around and repair his broken plate approach.
    Comments 318 Comments
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      I think there's a good chance that his "attitude problem" (if it existed at all) did not rear its head until he absolutely fell on his face.

      Not a lot you can do at that point. The guy hasn't been a productive player since 2011, at which point he was a top prospect in the system. There's a good chance that he hasn't taken his fall from grace... gracefully.
      Fine, but he's 25. And he plays a position we only have one other capable player at who happens to be hitting well under .200. This is a bit mind-boggling.

      Since this is a lost season (something the Twins even seem to be aware of) why not call up Hendricks? He's proven all he can in AAA already, so rather than dump a 25 year old that plays a position of needed depth, why not just call up Liam?

      There is literally no way to wrap your head around this choice. There may have been a dozen better options.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      As far as CF depth, if necessary we do have Clete Thomas. Yes, he's not on the 40-man, but room could be made. And unlike Benson, Thomas has actually been effective this year...
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I liked Benson's potential, I guess I still do. Perhaps a fresh start will get him going. He had the ability to change a game with his legs, his arm, and his glove. As the PP article says, his hitting lagged. As for "attitude problems", I think all premier athletes are used to succeeding and getting better. Benson may not have handled setbacks and frustration that well, but I doubt he is a clubhouse cancer or anything like that. I wish Benson the best, but it looks like this move is best for both the player and the team.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Quote Originally Posted by sbknudson View Post
      As far as CF depth, if necessary we do have Clete Thomas. Yes, he's not on the 40-man, but room could be made. And unlike Benson, Thomas has actually been effective this year...
      He also hasn't played in several weeks IIRC. If Hicks goes down, the replacement is Antoan Richardson.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Earlier in the year, the Rangers DFA'd CF Julio Borbon. Now they have space for CF Benson.

      It is a little different because Borbon was out of options, but I would think that Borbon would be a good fit on the current Twin roster. Too bad the Twins didn't have the foresight to work a Borbon/Benson trade.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      The Rangers assigned Benson to AA, fyi.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
      He also hasn't played in several weeks IIRC. If Hicks goes down, the replacement is Antoan Richardson.
      My bad - I've gotten away from following the farm teams the past few weeks; just don't have the time I used to.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      Earlier in the year, the Rangers DFA'd CF Julio Borbon. Now they have space for CF Benson.

      It is a little different because Borbon was out of options, but I would think that Borbon would be a good fit on the current Twin roster. Too bad the Twins didn't have the foresight to work a Borbon/Benson trade.
      That will be Benson next year.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I hadn't been paying attention today. WHY ON EARTH was Benson the guy to be removed from the 40-man? That's preposterous.

      The Twins are mystifying with how they deal with minor league players. Last year's treatment of him (the demotion to AA) before the injury was insulting, so I can understand if he is mad at the organization.

      On the other hand, this . . . wait there is no other hand because there is no reason to have done anything like this. RELEASING a still top 20 prospect instead of trying to work out some kind of trade? Really? Or Benson could have been a nice addition to a Morneau or Willingham trade to someone. Just GIVING HIM AWAY when the 40-man is not full of real talent is damn bad.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      actually, Texas has the 2nd best record in baseball, so the only team we don't know whether they would have passed on him was St. Louis.

      I've been able to break several stories over the years. The Colabello one was a lot of fun to break. This one... not as much. I've met and talked to Joe on several occasions. Really good guy, very competitive, very hard worker... His football mentality was his greatest strength and his greatest hurdle. I sincerely hope that a change of scenery is exactly what he needs and he gets another shot in the big leagues sometime!!
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      figured it was him as he didnt play the previous couple days.
      Never thought (stated it often) that the organization was 'truly' high on him.
      Hope he breaks out in the Lone Star State
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      actually, Texas has the 2nd best record in baseball, so the only team we don't know whether they would have passed on him was St. Louis.

      I've been able to break several stories over the years. The Colabello one was a lot of fun to break. This one... not as much. I've met and talked to Joe on several occasions. Really good guy, very competitive, very hard worker... His football mentality was his greatest strength and his greatest hurdle. I sincerely hope that a change of scenery is exactly what he needs and he gets another shot in the big leagues sometime!!
      Okay, but now that the first month of ball is over, doesn't he go through the AL first before the NL teams even have a chance at him?
    1. shs_59's Avatar
      shs_59 -
      Wow I mean sure i saw Bensons role to 4th of'er or quad "A" guy coming after the 2011 season..... But To remove HIM from the 40 man roster seems odd.....

      Makes you think there is an underlining issue associated with Benson and a coach, the Twins, FO or something....

      Becuase that was Really ODD! to see Benson be the guy the Twins gave up on so fast.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      Fine, but he's 25. And he plays a position we only have one other capable player at who happens to be hitting well under .200. This is a bit mind-boggling.

      Since this is a lost season (something the Twins even seem to be aware of) why not call up Hendricks? He's proven all he can in AAA already, so rather than dump a 25 year old that plays a position of needed depth, why not just call up Liam?

      There is literally no way to wrap your head around this choice. There may have been a dozen better options.
      I'm not defending the decision (which I feel pretty "meh" about overall), just the fact that the Twins could have gotten anything for Benson before it was too late. And was there a real point in protecting Benson? He's out of options after this season and has shown zero ability to rebound since his injuries.

      And isn't Hendriks injured right now? He hasn't pitched in two weeks.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      So sad that we are stuck with TR and his good ole boys in our Front Office. The gamepassed them bye years ago and they have made this franchise a laughingstock.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      This is unfortunate, but after what I witnessed a week ago and how much he was pressing and how down he looked in his team's best game of the season, I can see it happening. He needed help, maybe changing teams will help him.

      On the other hand, any organization that values Butera more than Benson (esp. with 4 other Cs better than him on the 40-man roster), needs its head examined (or eliminated.)
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Bad decision. The Rangers baseball philosophy might really help Benson. Hard for me not to root for him just to spite the Twins. Every player like this makes me wonder if this is the result of the Twins trying to change him a la Ortiz or just unable to develop a la Restovich. I hope the best for Benson, and secretly hope this decision is another nail in Terry Ryan's coffin. As bad as that sounds, I just can't help it.
    1. Aaron Cross's Avatar
      Aaron Cross -
      God damned fools.
    1. TwinsFanInPhilly's Avatar
      TwinsFanInPhilly -
      You would think that teams would be lining up to trade for a 50K/10BB player.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      Bad decision. The Rangers baseball philosophy might really help Benson. Hard for me not to root for him just to spite the Twins. Every player like this makes me wonder if this is the result of the Twins trying to change him a la Ortiz or just unable to develop a la Restovich. I hope the best for Benson, and secretly hope this decision is another nail in Terry Ryan's coffin. As bad as that sounds, I just can't help it.
      I guess the secret is out
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.