Rangers call up St. Charles East grad Benjamin
Wes Benjamin's long road to reaching the major leagues has been achieved.
Benjamin, a former St. Charles East standout, earned a promotion and was added to the 28-man active roster for the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
Benjamin, a fifth-round draft choice in the 2014 draft out of Kansas, has spent five seasons in the minors. In 2019, the 27-year-old pitched 135 ⅓ innings in Triple-A, starting 25 games and amassing at 7-6 record.
Benjamin underwent Tommy John surgery months before being drafted as a junior at Kansas.
Benjamin was originally a 48th round draft choice by the New York Yankees in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft.
In high school, Benjamin was promoted to varsity as a sophomore in 2009.
"Even that summer before he pitched with us, you could really see his potential on what he could be," St. Charles East assistant baseball coach Mark Foulkes said. "He went into a summer league game against Naperville North, who was a No. 1 seed in our summer sectional, and beat them. It was a team that had only two or three losses that whole summer."
"Obviously, the junior and senior year with coach [Dave] Haskins, he just went to a brand-new level of dominance," Foulkes continued. "It's really exciting to see the work he's put in to get there."
As a junior at East, Benjamin had a sparkling 13-2 record with a 1.26 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 83 ⅓ innings.
Benjamin is only the second St. Charles East alum to make the big leagues, joining Matt Reynolds, a 2003 graduate.
"We're excited for him," Foulkes said. "They put in all the work. They're the ones who do it. We're humbled and proud to be a part of the process, to tell you the truth, of all these kids successes; whether it's college, minor leagues [and] especially the pro guys.
"The one thing I think I can speak for [St. Charles East coach] Len [Asquini] for is: We're always grateful for their willingness to come back and talk to kids in the program," Foulkes said. "Not just about the importance of what they're doing, but how important their high school experience was."