Q&A with Yankees 48th Round Pick Wes Benjamin

The Yankees selected left-handed pitcher Wes Benjamin in the 48th round out of St. Charles East High School in Illinois. He sat down with us for a Q&A session to talk about being drafted by the Yankees, which big league player he most resembles, if he's looking to sign quickly, and a whole lot more.

PinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what is going through your mind after being selected by a team like the Yankees.

Wes Benjamin: Definitely an honor to be selected by such a prestigous team. You know, I didn't know whether or not I was going to get drafted, so it was a relief to get the phone call. It's something I'm proud of, I'm excited, and something that gets my career to get moving forward.

PinstripesPlus.com: So, it sounds like you were surprised, had the Yankees talked to you much before the draft?

Benjamin: Well, I had talked with a few area scouts here and there but nothing major. As more and more rounds went by, my chances kept getting slimmer and slimmer and I really wasn't sure whether it was going to happen or not. But it was a big relief to get that phone call to hear that they drafted me.

PinstripesPlus.com: Have they said much to you about what the Yankees organization is like?

Benjamin: No, mostly everything has really been a congratulatory type of thing.

PinstripesPlus.com: Are you looking to sign quickly?

Benjamin: Well, I'm keeping all options open. I've committed to Kansas and in case the negotiations fall short I have something to fall back on. In the end, if I choose to develop more, I can just choose to pitch at Kansas, but either one is really a good option.

PinstripesPlus.com: Give us a little bit of a scouting report, what pitches do you throw and at what speeds?

Benjamin: I throw both a two-seam fastball and four-seam fastball consistently in upper 80s, topping out at 91. For offspeed, my changeup is in the mid 70s, with a low 70's curveball, and a low 80s slider.

PinstripesPlus.com: Did you have a favorite team or a favorite player growing up?

Benjamin: I've really been a Chicago sports fan my whole life, a big Cubs fan, but now I'm a huge Yankees fan. I have always been a C.C. Sabathia fan, he's a fellow lefty, and I just really like his style and the way he pitches.

PinstripesPlus.com: If you could choose any pitcher at the major league level, who would you compare yourself to?

Benjamin: Well, I'd like to think I have my own unique style and I really don't compare to anyone. I have a pretty generic, standard motion, but I think as long as I get the job done, I don't need to be compared to anyone else.

PinstripesPlus.com: What is your best on field baseball moment, and why?

Benjamin: Being down in Jupiter, Florida this past summer for a tournament, seeing all the scouts, all the talented players, and being able to compete with them was definitely awesome for me. To even have a shot or interest from scouts was a great moment, and I really think competing there helped me get noticed and get on the radar. Talking with some other scouts, a lot of people don't get the opportunity to compete in a tournament like that, so it was really good for me.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?

Benjamin: I've been through a lot in terms of baseball, but I try to keep cool as much as possible. But, I think when you represent any major city, you're going to get some heat for not performing. If I make it to the majors, I'll definitely be doing my best out there every time, so if I do bad, stuff like that happens, you just have to bounce back.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what is going through your mind after being selected by a team like the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\nWes Benjamin: Definitely an honor to be selected by such a prestigous team. You know, I didn't know whether or not I was going to get drafted, so it was a relief to get the phone call. It's something I'm proud of, I'm excited, and something that gets my career to get moving forward.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: So, it sounds like you were surprised, had the Yankees talked to you much before the draft?
\r\n
\r\nBenjamin: Well, I had talked with a few area scouts here and there but nothing major. As more and more rounds went by, my chances kept getting slimmer and slimmer and I really wasn't sure whether it was going to happen or not. But it was a big relief to get that phone call to hear that they drafted me.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Have they said much to you about what the Yankees organization is like?
\r\n
\r\nBenjamin: No, mostly everything has really been a congratulatory type of thing.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Are you looking to sign quickly?
\r\n
\r\nBenjamin: Well, I'm keeping all options open. I've committed to Kansas and in case the negotiations fall short I have something to fall back on. In the end, if I choose to develop more, I can just choose to pitch at Kansas, but either one is really a good option.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Give us a little bit of a scouting report, what pitches do you throw and at what speeds?
\r\n
\r\nBenjamin: I throw both a two-seam fastball and four-seam fastball consistently in upper 80s, topping out at 91. For offspeed, my changeup is in the mid 70s, with a low 70's curveball, and a low 80s slider.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Did you have a favorite team or a favorite player growing up?
\r\n
\r\nBenjamin: I've really been a Chicago sports fan my whole life, a big Cubs fan, but now I'm a huge Yankees fan. I have always been a C.C. Sabathia fan, he's a fellow lefty, and I just really like his style and the way he pitches.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: If you could choose any pitcher at the major league level, who would you compare yourself to?
\r\n
\r\nBenjamin: Well, I'd like to think I have my own unique style and I really don't compare to anyone. I have a pretty generic, standard motion, but I think as long as I get the job done, I don't need to be compared to anyone else.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What is your best on field baseball moment, and why?
\r\n
\r\nBenjamin: Being down in Jupiter, Florida this past summer for a tournament, seeing all the scouts, all the talented players, and being able to compete with them was definitely awesome for me. To even have a shot or interest from scouts was a great moment, and I really think competing there helped me get noticed and get on the radar. Talking with some other scouts, a lot of people don't get the opportunity to compete in a tournament like that, so it was really good for me.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?
\r\n
\r\nBenjamin: I've been through a lot in terms of baseball, but I try to keep cool as much as possible. But, I think when you represent any major city, you're going to get some heat for not performing. If I make it to the majors, I'll definitely be doing my best out there every time, so if I do bad, stuff like that happens, you just have to bounce back.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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