Will Benson, OF
Westminster Schools (GA)
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
- 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game First Team All-American; 2016 Southeast All-Region First Team; 2015 Perfect Game Underclass First Team; 2014 Perfect Game Underclass Second Team.
- As a junior in 2015, led his team to a 25-11 record while batting .386 and slugging .750 with six home runs and 10 doubles.
- Represented the United States at the World Cup of Baseball in Japan for Team USA's 18U team.
Attendees in previous years have included four-time American League All-Star and 2014 AL Most Valuable Player Mike Trout (2009) of the Los Angeles Angels and the top overall selection of 2012, shortstop Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros, the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year.
Twenty-three former Major League All-Stars, an MVP, a Rookie of the Year, a Hall of Fame manager and a Hall of Fame broadcaster are among the baseball legends scheduled to represent the 30 Clubs at the 2016 Draft. Ivan Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star and the 1999 AL MVP, and Jason Bay, a three-time All-Star and the 2004 National League Rookie of the Year, will join Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda and Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg in headlining a remarkable group of baseball dignitaries scheduled to attend. Other former All-Stars who will represent the Clubs are (alphabetically): Harold Baines (CWS); Jesse Barfield (TOR); Bob Boone (WSH); Tom Browning (CIN); Jeff Conine (MIA); Morgan Ensberg (HOU); John Franco (NYM); Ralph Garr (ATL); Orlando Hudson (ARI); Ryan Klesko (ATL); Mike Lieberthal (PHI); Ted Lilly (CHI); Ryan Ludwick (STL); Jamie Moyer (SEA); Andy Pettitte (NYY); Brad Radke (MIN); Brian Roberts (BAL); Freddy Sanchez (PIT); Ben Sheets (MIL); Luis Tiant (BOS); and Alan Trammell (DET).
The Draft will begin live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Thursday, June 9th at 7:00 p.m. (ET). Prior to the start of the Draft, MLB Network will air a Draft preview show, also simulcast on MLB.com, at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
The selection order of the Draft is determined by the reverse order of finish at the close of the previous championship season. The Philadelphia Phillies will have the first overall selection of the 2016 Draft, marking the second time in Club history that they hold the top selection. The Phillies also held the first overall pick in 1998, when they selected outfielder Pat Burrell. The San Diego Padres (8th, 24th and 25th) and the St. Louis Cardinals (23rd, 33rd, 34th) each have three selections in the first round, while the Chicago White Sox (10th and 26th), New York Mets (19th and 31st), Los Angeles Dodgers (20th and 32nd) and Washington Nationals (28th and 29th) each have two selections in the opening round. The Padres have a Major League-high five selections within the first 77 picks during the first day of the Draft.
The Draft will have 40 rounds, and a Club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds. The 2016 Draft will span three days, as it has since 2009. For day one on June 9th, MLB Network and MLB.com will provide live pick-by-pick coverage during the first round, Competitive Balance Lottery Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Lottery Round B. The intervals between selections during round one will last four minutes, followed by one-minute intervals between selections during Competitive Balance Lottery Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Lottery Round B. The Draft will resume at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday, June 10th, when selections will be made for rounds 3-10, with one minute intervals between selections. Day three of the Draft on Saturday, June 11th will begin at 12:00 p.m. (ET), featuring picks in rounds 11-40, with no time delay between selections.
Beginning with the Draft preview show at 6:00 p.m. (ET), MLB Network's live coverage will feature news, analysis, interviews with Club front office personnel and representatives, footage from Club draft rooms, and features and interviews with prospects and newly drafted players. MLB Network's Greg Amsinger, Peter Gammons, Dan O'Dowd, Harold Reynolds and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo will anchor the live coverage with contributions from former MLB general manager Jack Zduriencik, MLB Network's Scott Braun, Eric Byrnes, Sean Casey, Mark DeRosa, Cliff Floyd, Al Leiter, Mike Lowell, Pedro Martinez, Kevin Millar, Carlos Peña, Dan Plesac, Bill Ripken, Sam Ryan, John Smoltz and Matt Yallof, as well as Jim Callis of MLB.com and John Manuel of Baseball America.
MLB.com will begin its exclusive live programming of the Draft's final two days with a live draft show from its New York studios at 12:30 p.m. (ET) on June 10th, followed by a live pick-by-pick stream and draft and scouting expert commentary from Mayo and Callis. It also will provide Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of more than 1,500 draft-eligible players with statistics, scouting reports and video highlights. The official Draft Twitter account, @MLBDraft, will provide up-to-the-moment updates and commentary using the official Draft hashtag, #MLBDraft, while @MLBDraftTracker will tweet all picks as they are made.
The MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM will also offer live MLB Draft coverage to listeners nationwide. SiriusXM's Grant Paulsen and former MLB general managers Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden will host Thursday, June 9th starting at 6:00 p.m. (ET) and will provide live pick-by-pick analysis throughout the first round on Sirius channel 209, XM channel 89 and with your phone on the SiriusXM App.