In the fifth round of this year’s MLB Draft, the Texas Rangers selected left-handed pitcher Wes Benjamin with the 156th pick overall. The interesting thing about Wes Benjamin is that he underwent Tommy John Surgery just a few short months ago after starting his season very well. The Texas Rangers obviously saw something they liked in Benjamin to take him in the fifth round when he will need extensive rehab.
To find out more about the fifth round draft pick, David Cash had a phone interview with him earlier this week. The entire interview can be heard on The Ranger Report Podcast right here on Nolan Writin.
David: “What are the next steps for you as a Ranger?”
Wes Benjamin – “This past year unfortunately, I had Tommy John Surgery, which is a pretty big blow…but, I’ll be headed down to Surprise AZ to the spring training facilities and I’ll pretty much be rehabbing and starting my throwing process all over again and I’ll be ready to go next year.”
David: “Derek Holland will be out there in Surprise AZ, will you get an opportunity to work with him?”
Wes Benjamin – “I’m going to get the whole tour, I’m sure, coming up when I leave tomorrow, actually, I can’t say exactly what’s going to happen yet, I’ll find out soon”
David: “How was it like on draft day for you?”
Wes Benjamin – “It was awesome. Honestly, I had no idea I was going to get selected. Originally they had me slotted as maybe a second or third round pick before my injury, and after the injury I wasn’t expecting much out of it…next thing you know, I’m rushing home because I get a phone call saying they might take me in the third or fifth round, and sure enough I got selected in the fifth round…”
David: “What’s been your biggest inspiration to play ball?”
Wes Benjamin – “I’ve always played as a little kid, I’d always see major league teams, you go to games…you always wonder if you could actually do that yourself and being able to actually have a job where rather than sitting in an office cubicle or something like that. For right now this has been what I love professionally more than enough to keep me going.”
David: “Growing up, did you ever watch the Rangers or have a favorite Rangers ballplayer?”
Wes Benjamin – “Growing up I had limited access, but with Nolan Ryan he is one of the studs you always hear about…guys like that, you can’t get enough of. Now I love watching Yu Darvish, he is one of the best pitchers I have ever seen, all the guys out there, Martin Perez, the way they set up their pitching staff is really great and I’m excited to always watch their games now a days…”
David: “Could you tell us (a little bit)about your pitching?”
Wes Benjamin – “I have a two seam fastball that usually sits anywhere around 90-94 mph, we’ll hopefully bump that up a bit after I am done rehabbing. I throw a two seam and a four seam fastball, my curveball is somewhat close to 12-6, but not exactly. I’ll have a slider that is usually an out pitch for me and a straight change up that I like using against right handed hitters. I’m liking my arsenal, the way I’ve been developed through college…and I’m excited to get back out there and try all my pitches again…”
Wes also told us he wants to be a starter, but he will do whatever the organization wants him to do. We appreciate Wes Benjamin taking the time to talk to us here at Nolan Writin, and we will be bringing you much more from the draft picks coming soon!