Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Bennett was the Tigers 19th round pick in June out of Florida State. He was a successful setup man for the Seminoles in 2010 and worked as the team's closer in 2011, finishing with 15 saves.
Bennett posted a 3-1 record in 39 relief appearances with a 2.29 ERA. The side-arming right-hander allowed just 46 hits and 23 walks in 55 innings with 52 strikeouts.
Prior to his two years at Florida State, Bennett was standout reliever for Tallahassee Community College, setting school records for single season and career appearances.
Despite Bennett's success pitching in one of college baseball's toughest conferences, he lacks the raw stuff to project well as a professional.
Bennett has excellent size with a sturdy build. Though he has the look of a guy that could come in during the late innings and throw smoke, Bennett negates some of his size by throwing from a side-arm angle.
From that angle, Bennett's fastball sits at 85-86 mph with plus sink. He can work the ball to both sides of the plate, but tends to work form the middle of the plate to the outer corner against right-handers.
Bennett also features a slider that will show as an above-average pitch. He can throw his breaking ball for strikes and has begun to learn how to finish out of the zone as a chase pitch.
Having played in such a competitive league, there is little that rattles Bennett when he is on the mound. He is an outstanding competitor that wants the ball at all times. He has the guts and guile to get outs in the minor leagues, but will be hard-pressed to have success beyond Double-A.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP AVG SS-A
Bennett has a workhorse frame and his arm works well from his side-arm slot. He has not had any major injuries throughout his career.
The Tigers have not been bashful with Bennett since he signed in June. Starting in Connecticut, they quickly moved him to West Michigan where he has continued having success out of the bullpen.
Bennett should eat A-ball hitters alive, particularly right-handed hitters, with his low arm slot and ability to mix a good sinker and a slider. His lack of velocity or a true plus-plus second pitch may make it difficult for him to have the same success against more advanced hitters.
The Tigers will likely give Bennett every opportunity to move quickly through the system, allowing his performance to dictate his promotion schedule. If he continues to pitch well, he could reach Double-A during the 2012 season, and there he will face possibly the most critical test of his pro career.
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