Baseball star Chris Benson declares for MLB draft

Wolverine baseball star center fielder Chris Benson had another solid performance in the Great West Conference Championship.  Now he eyes a greater prize: a chance to play in the big leagues.

Benson will again declare for the Major League Baseball draft which begins June 6.  The draft is something Benson is no stranger to after last season, when he declared for the draft with no potential teams courting him.

After not being picked up by a team last season he came back for one more title run.

“I just let it go and focused on being a leader for my team” Benson said.

Benson was named the GWC tournament MVP after going 4-for-4 at the plate and knocking in three RBIs.  Benson hit a fourth-inning double, then stole third to provide the spark for the Wolverines to win 5-1 over Houston Baptist.

Benson’s remarkable career started as a freshman in 2006.  That year he was third among all Division I players in batting. Benson also was named second team All-Independent, finishing the season with 69 hits and 22 multi-hit games.

After serving his LDS mission in Argentina, Benson returned to the Wolverines for his sophomore season.  He began the season with a 17-game hitting streak and started 52 of the 53 games the Wolverines played that season.  Benson became only the third player in UVU Baseball history to hit for the cycle.

Benson’s junior season was the strongest one yet.  He hit a freakish .408 and led the team in home runs with 14.  Benson racked up 195 total bases with 107 hits while slugging .744, second in team history and sixth in the nation during the 2010 season.  Benson was also named ABCA All-Region second team.  Benson’s on-field contributions help lead UVU to first in the nation in batting with a .372 average, as well as leading the nation with 840 hits.

The road to the big leagues isn’t paved in gold.  Although Benson has a strong feeling he will be drafted, there is no guarantee. After the 2010 season, Benson felt his performance would speak for itself.

When the last pick in the 50th round of the Major League Baseball draft, Benson was still on the board.

“It was very frustrating” Benson said. “Many teams are drafting players as young as they can to begin developing them” he said.

After last year’s draft let him down, Benson has a better shot this year.  He has spoken to a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers, and also has received a letter of interest from the Toronto Blue Jays.

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