Reds outfielder Will Benson Cincinnati Reds left fielder Will Benson (30) is congratulated at home plate after hitting a walk-off, two-run home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Move over, Elly De La Cruz, there’s another young star ready to share the spotlight in Cincinnati.

De La Cruz, the Cincinnati Reds’ multi-talented shortstop, has been making headlines since his MLB debut Tuesday, and he hit a mammoth 458-foot blast for his first MLB home run Wednesday night.

That opened the scoring for the Reds, and 24-year-old outfielder Will Benson provided the perfect bookend to the night, hitting his first MLB home run in the ninth for a walk-off 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Benson’s two-run shot off Evan Phillips gave the Reds their second straight walk-off against the Dodgers.


Benson is batting just .189 in 106 at-bats since his MLB debut in August, so this will provide a definite boost to his confidence. While he has not been making headlines like De La Cruz, he’s a former first-round pick by Cleveland (No. 14 overall) in 2016). So maybe Benson is just now putting it all together.

“It could not happen to a better guy,” Reds manager David Bell said after the game. “He’s really starting to play with confidence, as he should. He’s a good player, sometimes it just takes a little time to settle in. We know what he’s capable of.

“He’s extremely well liked and respected on this team. It was a great and much-deserved celebration because he’s been working so hard at it.”

Reds fans were ecstatic after the win, happy for Benson — and for the first time in a long time, optimistic about the future.

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.