A pulsating game in East London was decided by the Spaniard's second half header with just fifteen minutes left on the clock.
Torres opened the scoring in the 20th minute before West Ham's Alessandro Diamanti was fortunate to level from the penalty spot after slipping as he struck the ball.
Dirk Kuyt put Liverpool back in front four minutes before the break only for Carlton Cole to equalise for a second time on the stroke of half-time.
It was, though, Torres who had the final say and at the end of the game Benitez had nothing but praise for his compatriot.
"If he continues to play like he did today, he can be one of the best," said Benitez. "When you talk about the Premier League you talk about a lot of players with quality so it is not easy to pick just one, but he is among the best.
Improving"He is a very good player and it is easy to see his qualities. If he is keen to learn, he will improve.
"He is a very good player and hopefully he will be better in the future.
"I was really pleased with him in the Champions League game in midweek. He didn't score but he created chances and space for his team-mates and worked very hard.
"Today he was a threat and that means the rest of the team can work in a different way.
"He is now fit and we are working hard with him to prevent injuries. If he cannot play one or two games, we have Kuyt or Ryan Babel who can score goals.
"Hopefully he won't be injured and he can score a lot of goals for us but we have different options.
"We were in control of the game and the reaction of the team was very positive. I could see that Kuyt was tired and Ryan was really good. His pace was crucial for us and the key at the end."