The Indians selected high school outfielder Will Benson with the 14th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft Thursday night.
Benson is 6’6″, 220 pounds, and bats and throws left handed. He attended The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, batting .454 with 11 doubles, 8 home runs, 41 RBIs, and a 1.380 OPS in his senior season. He was also 11 for 12 in stolen base attempts.
The lefty has drawn comparisons to Jason Heyward for his athleticism and has the potential to hit for power. Harold Reynolds called Benson “the best athlete in the draft” on MLB Network’s draft broadcast.
MLB.com ranked Benson 38th overall and Baseball America listed him as the 30th ranked prospect in this year’s draft. He was also named to the 2016 Rawlings Perfect Game All-American First Team and played in the Under Armour All-America game last August in Wrigley Field.
Benson has signed a letter of intent with Duke University, so it remains to be seen if he will sign with the Tribe or go to college to play for the Blue Devils.
The Indians have now drafted five outfielders in the first round of the draft since 2012. Benson joins Tyler Naquin, Clint Frazier, Bradley Zimmer, and Mike Papi as Indians’ first-round outfield selections. Cleveland has two more picks tonight, the 55th and 72nd overall picks, and 11 total picks in the first ten rounds of the draft.
Check out MLB.com’s draft preview of Benson here.