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Cooper Benson Back on the Mound

Cooper Benson Back on the Mound

July 26, 2022

Photo credit: Arizona State University Athletics

Left-handed pitcher Cooper Benson has been making a name for himself as a member of the Dunedin Blue Jays’ rotation. Benson, who joined the team earlier this month after a brief stint in the FCL has been impressive in 2022.

Pitching 18 1/3 innings between the two levels; Benson has racked up 33 K’s while maintaining an ERA of 1.96 and a WHIP of 1.25.

Benson doesn’t feel there’s a big difference between the FCL and Dunedin, “The level of competition is a little better,” Benson said of Dunedin. “But it’s not that big of a difference I don’t think.”

Currently using a three-pitch mix of a fastball, a slider, and a changeup; Benson talks about how he mixes up his pitches to keep hitters off-balance.

“To righties I like to throw changeups and I love to throw my fastball a lot because I feel it’s pretty good,” explained Benson. “I keep them off-balance by throwing changeups in any count and I’m developing a slider a little bit but that’s basically for lefties.”

Still getting the feel for the slider Benson talks about its development, “It’s getting there,” said Benson. “I threw a curveball in college, so I just started the slider after I returned from Tommy John. I feel if I continue to throw it and get reps in with it – it’ll be a really good pitch for me.”

Having his college career cut short by Tommy John, Benson only pitched in six collegiate games before turning pro.

But despite the small sample size Benson feels his time at Arizona State really prepared him well for pro ball.

“I really experienced good competition for the first time,” Benson said of ASU. “My high school was very small so going from high school to there really helped me a lot.”

And like a lot of pitchers who have gone through the Tommy John recovery Benson has noticed a slight increase in his velocity.

“Yeah, I throw a little bit harder now than I did before,” explained Benson. “But I think my arm will continue to feel better once I go through all of the months. I still haven’t thrown a lot of pitches so I think there might still be a little more velo. It’s diving down and up a little bit too much right now.”

Be sure to follow Cooper Benson’s progress in pro ball.