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Ricky Doyle of NESN published another video of Benintendi, after he crushed another home run for the Red Sox’s Class-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive. “Benintendi crushed a walk-off home run for the Red Sox’s Single-A affiliate in Greenville. The Drive trailed by a run in the ninth inning when Benintendi smoked a two-run homer over the right field fence to give his team a 6-5 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats.”
The kid has moved up the ranks quickly, using his bat to send a message to the rest of the baseball world that he’s coming. Benintendi was drafted seventh overall in the first round in 2015, after having stellar high school and college careers. He won the ABCA/Rawlings National High School Player of the Year and Ohio Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. He was already drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2013 but he didn’t sign with them. He went to Arkansas, where he won the Baseball America College Player of the Year Award, the Dick Howser Trophy, and the Golden Spikes Award.
All of these awards are nice, but how did he fare in the minors, playing against grown men who also want to make the majors?
At 5’10” and 170 pounds, the lefty bat spent time playing 35 games for the Lowell Spinners, hitting seven home runs and 15 RBIs, before moving up to Greenville. In 61 at-bats, Benintendi blasted four home runs and 14 RBIs with a slash line of .328/.408/.574. The 21-year-old also throws left-handed when he plays the outfield. It’s too early to tell how good his glove is, but his bat has been doing all of the talking, anyways.
MLB.com has Benintendi ranked sixth of the top 30 prospects in their farm system. Moncada, Rafael Devers, Manuel Margot, Brian Johnson, and Henry Owens round out the top five. Margot is the only fellow outfielder on the list, and he’s playing for Double-A Portland Sea Dogs with a home run and 24 RBIs and a slash line of .251/.308/.362. If Benintendi continues at the pace that he’s showing, he could find himself in Portland pretty quickly, likely next season, and could possibly leapfrog Margot, who has superior speed but falls short of Benintendi in power.
Benintendi is also 67th for MLB’s top 100 prospects. To be ranked that highly already, the scouts must think very highly of his potential. He’s already producing effectively in the short time that he’s spent with Boston’s organization. He could be the future of the outfield or a valuable asset in a big trade this offseason for a starting pitcher, depending on the route that Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox president of baseball operations, decides to go. The Red Sox already have a ton of youth playing full-time positions with the big club, so it may be time to start thinking about which prospects will be used in trade talks this winter.
Either way, Benintendi’s future looks bright for whatever team he plays for, next season.
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