Benny Wanger

From BR Bullpen

Benjamin Wanger

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 220 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Benny Wanger has been a two-way player for the Israeli national team.

Wanger's father pitched for Harvard. Benny had a 0.73 ERA as a high school senior and threw the first perfect game in school history. He also played football and basketball in high school. [1] He was a 1B/P as a freshman at Yale, hitting .245/.386/.358 while going 1-4, 7.51. In 2017, he did not pitch and batted .317/.415/.610 with 8 homers and 48 RBI in 35 games. He was 4th in the Ivy League in dingers and led in RBI. He was All-Ivy League at DH. [2] His junior year, he slipped on offense (.196/.328/.325) but returned to the mound and did well (2-0, 6 Sv, 0.90). He was second in the Ivy League in saves and was All-Ivy League as a reliever. [3] He was 2-0 and hit .224/.321/.510 for the Valley Blue Sox in the New England Collegiate Baseball League and briefly was in the top-flight Cape Cod League, going 0 for 3 with a walk for the Chatham Anglers and allowing four runs in 2/3 of an inning. His senior year, he started off really strong (Sv, 1 1/3 hitless innings, 7 for 15 with 8 walks, a double and a homer) before an injury cut his time short. [4]

He was healthy again in the fall and was one of a number of Jewish American players to obtain Israeli citizenship to help the country fight for a spot in the 2020 Olympics. [5] He joined former major leaguers Danny Valencia, Ty Kelly, Zack Weiss and Jon Moscot on Israel's squad as well as numerous other players with pro experience. He led Israel's staff with 12 K but was 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA and gave up the homer to Alberto Mineo in a loss to Italy in the semifinals. He was 1 for 5 with a walk and sacrifice fly. His one hit was a homer off Fernando Baez in the Bronze Medal Game loss, having replaced Simon Rosenbaum at 1B. He tied Marc-André Habeck and Alex Bassani for 3rd in the event in batters struck out. [6]

Israel fared well enough to make it to the 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier. Wanger got a bigger role there, playing regularly at 1B and DH as Rosenbaum moved to the outfield. He hit .231/.375/.385 to finish 3rd on Israel in OPS behind Valencia and Nick Rickles. His one mound stint was superb, though it came in Israel's only loss, to Czechia. Relieving Jeremy Bleich in the 5th with a 7-1 deficit, two outs and one on, he pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings, allowing one hit (to Jakub Hajtmar) and one walk (to Martin Červinka). Israel scored 3 more but fell short. They did win the event, though, for the first Olympic spot for an Israeli team in any sport since the 1970s. He was one of three qualifiers with a 0.00 RA alongside teammate Jonathan de Marte and Czechia's Petr Minařík, each of whom pitched 1/3 fewer innings. [7]