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MLB Prospect Report: Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox

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The Boston Red Sox are reportedly promoting outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the major league roster, 13 months after drafting him in 2015.

From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book

Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox

Bats: L Throws: L HT: 5-10 WT: 170 DOB: July 6, 1994

Drafted in the first round last June from the University of Arkansas, Andrew Benintendi was devastatingly effective during the college season and remained devastatingly effective in pro ball. Scouts weren’t 100% certain how his power would translate against pro pitching but that seems much less of an issue after he slugged .566 with 11 homers in his first 54 games. Although he’s not tall, Benintendi is quite athletic and very strong. His swing translates that strength to field power and the entire hitting package plays up due to his tremendously good pitch recognition. The high power/high walks/low strikeout combination he’s demonstrated thus far is quite rare and there are no red flags indicating that it is a fluke. Benintendi also has above-average speed, a decent arm, and excellent instincts in center field. In short, he is a complete Seven Skill player. Possible comp: Jason Kipnis with a few more homers, a few less strikeouts, and the ability to play above-average defense in center field. Another possibility: left-handed Mookie Betts. Grade A-.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY

Benintendi has maintained the blistering pace this year, hitting a combined .312/.378/.532 between High-A and Double-A. He's now played 151 professional games, hitting .312/.392/.540 with 38 doubles, 16 triples, 20 homers, and a tremendous 74/63 BB/K ratio. The most recent report I have on Benintendi comes from a very informed observer of the industry praising Andrew's "ability to put the sweet spot of the bat to work on any pitch." He's shown ability against both fastballs and breaking balls, controls the strike zone exceptionally well, and in general looks like one of the best pure hitters in the minors. He's also drawn praise for his outfield defense and the numbers back that up: he has a career .994 fielding percentage, almost exclusivity in center field, with a strong throwing arm, 12 assists to his credit, and above-average range. Benintendi's complete package makes him a Grade A prospect in my view.