Starting in the 21st round of the 2017 draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates went on a run of selecting college shortstops. After taking Brett Pope and Robbie Glendinning, they used their 23rd round pick on Ben Bengtson out of the University of Hartford. They would go on to select Nick Valaika in the 24th round for their fourth straight shortstop. As it turned out, Bengtson was the only one of the four not to see time at shortstop. He spent his time at third base and easily put up the best offensive stats of the quartet.
Bengtson, who said that his often misspelled name is Swedish and pronounced "Bank-t-son", was a three-year starter at Hartford and almost all of his playing time was at shortstop. That's the position he grew up playing. His move to third base in the pros came about because he k...
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John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.