The trade deadline has passed us and Boston held on to its most coveted prospects – now we know why. Less than 12 hours after the non-waiver deadline, news broke that Andrew Benintendi would join Boston in Seattle to begin his major-league career.
Oh, Dave Dombrowski, you coy son of a gun. After stating before Monday’s game in response to a question about whether Benintendi and Moncada could be promoted to Boston this year, you stated, “Maybe. It could be. They’re close enough that they could be. I’m not making that prediction, but they could be.”
For those of us not awake after the Boston Red Sox 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald let Red Sox Nation know that prized prospect Andrew Benintendi would be in the dugout in Seattle for the game on Tuesday. Manager John Farrell said that the left-handed hitting Benintendi would start the game on Wednesday against right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. Wade LeBlanc, a lefty, starts the game on Tuesday for Seattle.
Since being drafted with the 7th pick in the 2015 draft out of the University of Arkansas – where he won numerous college player of the year awards – Benintendi has moved rapidly through the Sox minor league system. He started 2015 in short-season Lowell where he hit .290/.408/.540 with seven home runs in 35 games. He finished 2015 with Low-A Greenville, where he hit .351/.430/.581 with four homers in just 19 games.
Benintendi started the 2016 season with High-A Salem. In his 34 games there, he hit .341/.413/.563 with one home run. He then moved on to AA Portland where, after a brief period of adjustment, he went .295/.357/.515 with eight dingers in 63 games.
Benintendi, a natural center fielder, will play in left for the Sox, joining fellow center fielders Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts – giving the team one of the best, and youngest, defensive outfields in the majors. In anticipation of this move, the Red Sox have had Benintendi playing in left for the past few weeks.
Besides bolstering their outfield defense, and hopefully providing a spark to the offense, this move allows the Sox to once again use Brock Holt as a super utility player and rest players around the diamond as the Sox enter the grueling part of their schedule. Once Chris Young comes back from the DL, it will also give the Sox a natural platoon in left.
If Benintendi plays up to expectations, he will join Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. as the newest member of the Killer B’s. It looks like it might be time for the Fenway Faithful to learn to call of the Hogs.
Woooo Pig Sooie!
Rick Rowand has written about Boston’s young stars, David Ortiz’s career, Brock Holt’s aura, and Boston’s new starting third baseman.
Follow Rick on Twitter @rrowand.