Recent

0

Daily Prospect Profile: Justin Bencsko

Bencsko was promoted to West Virginia yesterday.

Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted outfielder Justin Bencsko in the 20th round as a senior out of Villanova.  In his senior year, Bencsko put up a .356/.445/.490 line, with 24 stolen bases.  A big issue was that he had no power, and didn’t really start hitting until his senior year came along.  After signing with the Pirates, Bencsko went to State College, where he put up a .188/.291/.275 line in 69 at-bats.

Bencsko returned to State College this year, where he got off to a great start, hitting for a .346/.469/.385 line in 26 at-bats.  He still wasn’t showing much power, although he was putting up a nice average and on-base percentage, which isn’t a huge accomplishment for a 23 year old in the New York-Penn League.  He carried his strong hitting over to the last week and a half of July, where he ran in to a slump, going 2-for-25 in his last eight games.

Bencsko was promoted to West Virginia yesterday, where he got off to a nice start, going 3-for-3 with a walk and two doubles.  That matched his total doubles from State College this year.  The most encouraging sign out of Bencsko this year has been his hitting skills.  He’s a one tool guy, with that one tool being speed.  He’s not just fast.  He might be the fastest player in the system.  The line between “speedy organizational player” and “legit prospect” really comes down to whether or not he can hit.  He’s put up a nice average and on-base percentage so far, but it’s the lower levels, and he had a poor strikeout percentage (30.3%).

Bencsko’s speed gives him some value that you wouldn’t normally find in a 20th round pick.  It doesn’t guarantee that he won’t just end up as an organizational player, but the speed does give him a shot to be better than that.  His speed makes him a weapon on the bases, gives him good range in the outfield, to the point where he can play center field, and allows him to pick up extra hits by beating out throws.  If he does make it to the majors, his ceiling would likely be a Nyjer Morgan type, and it’s more likely he’d end up as an Xavier Paul type bench player.  For either to happen, he would have to improve his hitting skills, specifically working on his average, and cutting down on his strikeout rates.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Indians Find Themselves On The Chopping Block Again

Next Story »

Pirates Prospects on Today’s Pre-Game Show

  • http://profiles.google.com/wvbucco John Fluharty

    Tim, might be nice to see some general information on the prospect at the top (such as height, weight, handedness, defensive position, round drafted, year drafted, age, org level) followed by the writeup.  Love these, though.  Always look forward to them.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      We’ve got all of that information on the player pages.  Just click “Players” on the menu bar at the top of each page.

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    1 day ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    2 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    3 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    5 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    6 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More