William Stephen Bene
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 200 lb.
- School California State-Los Angeles
Pitcher Bill Bene was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of the 1988 amateur draft, with the 5th overall pick. As a freshman at Cal State-LA, his ERA was 7.16 in 27 2/3 IP. He lowered that to 4.89 in 70 IP with a 3-3 record as a sophomore. In his junior year (1988) Bene was 6-3 in 7 GS (and 10 relief appearances) with a 5.62 ERA. Overall, he sported a 5.62 collegiate ERA with 108 SO and 133 BB in 147 1/3 IP. It was thus a huge surprise when the Dodgers useda very high pick to select him in the draft.
Bene turned out to be perhaps one of the most notable draft busts of his era. While Bene was noted for having a lively arm, he had horrific control, which never seemed to improve. Bene pitched in the minor leagues from 1988 to 1995, as well as in 1997. In his professional career, he was 18-34 with a 5.35 ERA. More remarkably, he walked 543 batters in 515 2/3 IP. This led to some of the strangest stat lines imaginable, such as 1989, when Bene, splitting the year between low A ball and regular A ball, was 0-4 with a 10.33 ERA and 56 walks in 27 IP.