Former Sun Devil infielder and big leaguer Mike Benjamin enters his fifth season as an assistant coach on Tim Esmay's staff. Esmay and Benjamin were teammates at Arizona State during the 1986 and 1987 seasons under head coach Jim Brock. Benjamin was inducted into the Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 2011.
In 2013, Benjamin helped the Sun Devil finish in the top 30 in Div. I in triples (sixth), home runs (20th), slugging percentage (25th) and doubles (29th), and ranked 42nd in runs, 46th in scoring and 47th in hits.
ASU was also first in the Pac-12 in slugging percentage, runs scored, RBI, doubles, home runs and total bases, second in hits and triples, third in on-base percentage and fourth in batting average.
Since joining the staff in 2010, Benjamin has helped the Sun Devils rank 1st in slugging percentage, fewest sacrifice bunts and home runs per season, and 2nd in batting average, hits per season and RBI per season. Click here for a full rundown of where the Devils stack up against the Pac-12 since 2010.
Under Benjamin's tutelage, current Red Sox minor leaguer Deven Marrero earned 2011 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors and was drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft. Benjamin also helped second baseman Zack MacPhee earn 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year honors.
Benjamin played shortstop for the Sun Devils in 1986 and 1987, earning First Team All-American and First Team All-Pac-10 honors in 1987. He hit .315 in his ASU career, including .327 with 18 homers and 55 RBI during the '87 season. Benjamin also stole 30 bases, helping lead the Sun Devils to Omaha and the College World Series that year. He was a third round pick of the San Francisco Giants in the 1987 MLB Draft. Benjamin was named to the All-1980's squad for Arizona State Baseball by the East Valley Tribune as a shortstop.
Benjamin played 13 seasons of Major League Baseball, the first seven of which he spent with the San Francisco Giants. He made his Major League debut for the Giants on July 7, 1989 and played there through the 1995 season. He spent 1996 with the Philadelphia Phillies before joining the Boston Red Sox in 1997. He played two seasons in Boston, playing in the 1998 American League Divisional Series, before finishing his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Following his pro career, Benjamin was a coach for the Chandler National Little League team that advanced to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Benjamin' son, Michael Jr., played three seaons with the Sun Devils from 2011-13 and was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 13th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.