From BR Bullpen
- Bats Right, Throws Right
Maikel Benner is a catcher who has played for The Netherlands in the Olympics and World Baseball Classic. While he has been on the roster of the national team several times, his playing action has been limited thanks to Johnny Balentina, Sidney de Jong and Chairon Isenia.
Benner debuted with the Dutch youth national team at age 16 and also made his professional debut that year with Rotterdamse Sparta/Feyenoord. In the 1999 Intercontinental Cup, Benner was 2 for 11. In 2001, he moved to Neptunus. In the 2001 European Championship, Benner was 1 for 5. In the 2001 World Port Tournament, he was 1 for 3 for the Netherlands. Maikel hit .368 during 2002 Haarlem Baseball Week. In the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, Benner was 2 for 7 and was hit by two pitches. He was on the 2003 European Championship winners, going 2 for 4 in four games for the winning Dutch national team. During the Hoofdklasse season that year, he tied for 5th in the league in stolen bases, going 14 for 16. Benner was 6 for 21 with 3 doubles in the 2003 World Port Tournament.
Benner played for The Netherlands in the 2004 Olympics, going 0 for 4 with two walks. In 2005, he hit .274/~.372/.356 and was 7 for 9 in steals as Neptunus won their seven consecutive title. He again was on the European champion club.
In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Benner went 0 for 1, pinch-hitting in a win against Panama. During the 2006 Hoofdklasse season, Maikel batted .285/.395/.299 for ADO. He hit .246/.326/.262 for ADO in 2007. In 2008, Benner batted .314/.360/.365 as a OF/C, backing up Sidney de Jong behind the plate. When de Jong was hurt early in the 2008 Holland Series, Benner stepped in, going 5 for 11 with 2 walks and 4 runs in 3 games to help lead Amsterdam to an upset of Corendon Kinheim.
In the 2009 European Cup's Nettuno phase, Benner was 7 for 14 with 2 walks, 6 runs and 5 RBI in 5 games. He led the event in average. He was two for nine in the Cup's Final Four.