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Benjamin Dille

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Benjamin Dille

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 175 lb.

[edit] Biographical Information

Benjamin Dille has been one of the best baseball players to come out of Belgium. He has been named Holland Series MVP three times.

Dille was 1 for 1 with a walk and two runs for the Brasschaat Braves in the 2001 First Division, his only time appearing in Belgium's top league before going to the Netherlands. He was playing regularly for the Belgian national team when he was only 16 years old. In the 2003 European Championship, he hit .214/.267/.214 for Belgium. He played in the Eerste Klasse in the Netherlands from 2002 to 2004, helping DOOR Tridents to three titles.

Moving up to Sparta/Feyenoord in Hoofdklasse in 2005, Dille hit .295/.349/.396 to finish 15th in the league in average and 14th in slugging as one of his team's top threats. In 2006, Dille batted .358/.427/.444 with 32 runs in 40 games for DOOR Neptunus. He was second in the league in average, .008 behind leader Raily Legito. He was 7th in slugging and 9th in OBP. He was 8th in runs, tied Denny Beljaards for 6th in RBI (28), tied for 4th in triples (3), tied for 5th in total bases (72) and was third with 58 hits, trailing Johnny Balentina and Legito. He was just 2 for 16 in the playoffs as Neptunus's run of 7 straight titles came to an end. He also played for the Belgian national team in the European Championship qualifiers.

Dille hit .279/.349/.320 in a rough 2007. He edged René Cremer for the best fielding percentage among league second baseman with a .980 mark. He tied Tjerk Smeets for fifth with 36 runs, tied for 8th with 8 steals and was 9th with 48 hits.

Dille produced at a .348/.400/.522 clip with 8 runs in 5 games in the 2008 European Cup in Regensburg. He was one run shy of the tournament lead. Dille dominated the qualifier for the 2009 European Championship held in Antwerp, hitting .526/.609/.579 with 11 runs in 5 games, though he made five errors at shortstop. He won the MVP award and helped Belgium make it back to the "A" Pool of the European Championship. Dille hit .326/.380/.424 for Neptunus in 2009. He did not finish in the top 10 in any department but was in the top 15 in a few. In the 2009 Holland Series, he went 7 for 15 with 2 walks, 6 runs, 2 doubles, a triple and 2 RBI in four games to power Neptunus to the title. He was named Series MVP for his efforts.

The Antwerp native hit .299/.375/.351 with 39 runs in 40 games in the 2010 Hoofdklasse; he led the league in runs (one more than runner-up Dwayne Kemp), tied Danny Rombley for 9th in hits (46), tied Jeffrey Arends for 10th in RBI (22), tied for 7th in hit-by-pitch (5), was second in sacrifice hits (8, behind Cremer) and was 5th in double plays turned, regardless of position (26). He struggled in the 2010 Holland Series (4 for 23, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 0 R, 1 BB), though Neptunus beat the Amsterdam Pirates. In the 2010 European Cup, he was 2 for 13 with two walks and a run. As Belgium's second baseman and #3 batter in the 2010 European Championship, he disappointed (4 for 20, 3 BB, R, 3 RBI); he was only 6th among the team's 8 regulars in OPS.

In 2011, Dille slumped to .271/.319/.368 with 26 runs in 31 games while fielding .981. He tied for third in triples (3) and led the league's second basemen with 32 double plays. He was only 4 for 22 with 3 walks, a run and an error in the 2011 European Cup. In 2012, he hit .318/.368/.428 and again tied for third in triples (3) though his fielding percentage fell to .963. He was Neptunus's top batter in the 2012 Holland Series (4 for 13, 2B, 2 BB, R) but they were swept by Kinheim. In the 2012 European Cup, he continued his European Cup woes by going 3-for-19 with a walk, two runs and three RBI. He did steal 3 bases in 3 ties to tie Rodney Gessmann, Joris Bert and Ludwig Glaser for third behind Maxime Lefevre and Matt Vance. With Belgium in the 2012 European Championship, Dille went 8 for 23 with a triple, 3 walks, a run and 3 RBI to finish third on Belgium in OPS behind Hans Heyrman and Thomas De Wolf.

In the 2013 Hoofdklasse season, he continued to improve offensively (.327/.392/.469) and fielded .982. He was 10th in average (between Mark Duursma and Rombley), 8th in slugging (between Remco Draijer and Percy Isenia), tied for 7th in runs (36, even with Dirk van 't Klooster), tied for 4th in hits (53, even with Rombley and van' t Klooster), first in doubles (19), 4th in total bases (76, between Vince Rooi and Rombley), 4th in assists (119, between Cremer and fellow Belgian Dennis De Quint) and third in double plays (35, leading all middle infielders). He then starred in the 2013 Holland Series as Neptunus swept the Pioniers, going 7 for 17 with a double, 3 runs and RBI. He led the Series in average, slugging, hits, runs (tied with Legito and Gianison Boekhoudt), total bases and double plays (7, tied with Kemp). He won his second Holland Series MVP as a result.

Dille hit .320/.414/.400 in the 2014 European Cup with 9 runs and four RBI in six games but Neptunus fell to ASD Rimini in the finals. He tied Legito for the most runs in the event. In the 2014 Hoofdklasse, his batting line was .296/.397/.370, he fielded .986 and he scored 35 runs in 41 games. He tied Rooi and Mervin Gario for 7th in runs, was 8th in hits (48, between Rooi and Kevin Weijgerste), was 4th in assists (120) and tied Roy Seltenrijch for second with 37 double plays. In the 2014 Holland Series, he again starred, batting .379/.400/.414 to finish second to Draijer in average, tie Draijer for the most hits (11), tie for third in runs (4) and RBI (4) and tied Kemp and Kenny Berkenbosch for second with 12 total bases, one behind Boekhoudt. His big hit was a three-run double off Daan Hendrix in game 6. Neptunus won the title, but this time the Holland Series MVP went to pitcher Berry van Driel, though Dille had again made his case in the postseason.

With Belgium for the 2014 European Championship, he played a leading role again, hitting .421/.577/.526 to lead the team in average, OBP and runs (9) and place second to De Wolf in slugging (.019 behind). He also tied De Quint for third with six RBI and played perfect defense (10 PO, 9 A). He played 2B for Belgium with De Quint at short. For the tourney, he tied former major leaguer Alex Liddi for 9th in average and was third in OBP, behind Franklin Tavarez and Oscar Angulo.

Dille hit .424/.472/.424 with 7 runs and 4 RBI for Neptunus as they won the 2015 European Cup, the first Dutch champion of the event in eight years. In the final round, his three runs tied Claudio Liverziani for the most. He hit .320/.339/.359 in the 2015 Hoofdklasse and fielded .969. He was 10th in the league in average (between Legito and Linoy Croes), tied Gario for third in hits (58), was 5th in RBI (32, between Bryan Engelhardt and Legito), tied Kevin Moesquit for 10th in total bases (65), was 5th in assists (112) and 4th in double plays (25). He again was biggest in the clutch, hitting .458/.480/.667 with 8 runs and six RBI in the 2015 Holland Series as Neptunus won in five games. He led in average (49 points ahead of Christian Diaz), slugging (56 points better than Engelhardt), OBP (.022 ahead of Boekhoudt), runs (two more than Kemp), hits (11, two more than Diaz), RBI (one ahead of three others) and total bases (16, five more than Engelhardt or Legito). He had a two-run homer in game 2 off Glenn Wassink for his first dinger in three years; he also had a single and a two-run triple that day, which was also his birthday. He was 3 for 4 with two runs (including the first) in a game 3 romp. In game 4, he came up with a 5-4 deficit, two on and two out but this time came up, fanned by Pim Walsma in Neptunus' lone loss. In game 5, he singled in Kemp with the first run and scored twice in a 6-2 clinching victory. He won his third Holland Series MVP for his dazzling Series.

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