Ben Stant (RHP)
Last summer, more than one high profile player identified Ben Stant as the best medium speed pitcher in the game. That’s quite the accolade to bestow on any player, given the large number of medium speed/breaking ball heavy pitchers that GSWL Yard League has helped cultivate over the past decade. The compliment might mean even more when applied to Stant, who played all of at last season at just 17 years old.
Fellow players marvel at Stant’s knuckle ball that – on a good day – flutters up and down with horizontal movement that a riser or slider cannot replicate. He compliments the knuckler with a plethora of other offerings, including a harder riser. His side arm drop pitch is an effective weapon in keeping both right handed and left handed hitters off balance, even if it is his third or fourth best offering. Stant – who is based out of Delaware – utilizes a variety of arm angles as an additional tool to keep opposing hitters off balance. Changing arm slots so often is sometimes a recipe for wildness, but not for Stant. Even with the different looks, he commands and controls all of his pitches very well. If there is any concern with his pitching style is that the reliance on breaking pitches and different arm angles undoubtedly puts a lot of strain on his arm. There is some concern that his arm already has significant mileage on it and that could possibly catch up to him sooner rather than later.
At the plate, Stant has a smooth left-handed swing that generates easy power. The downside to his swing is that it can drag through the zone from time to time making him susceptible to premium velocity. His offensive numbers in Yard League have progressed significantly over his four seasons and he is a legitimate power threat in that environment.
Ben is a true student of the game. While his Yard league abilities have earned him the compliments of his fellow players, by no means is he “just” a medium pitch speed player. When he deems it necessary, Stant has the ability to dial up the velocity on his risers without sacrificing much in the way of command. Although he has the talent necessary to succeed in multiple environments, he might be best served in limiting his focus next season. In 2017, Stant bounced around quite a bit. Some of that – such as being traded from the Royals to the Brewers to the Giants in Palisades – was out of his hands. However, Stant still moved around a lot outside of Palisades as he played with two different teams in GSWL Yard tournaments, two different teams in Mid Atlantic, and yet another team for the Fast Plastic Texas Open. Sticking to a couple of organizations and finding himself a solid team for all of next season might enable him to settle in and really make his mark.