Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi bulks up with offseason training

Aug 23, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi (40) runs against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 23, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi (40) runs against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi has packed on a considerable amount of muscle this winter, as shown in a video posted by his trainer.

Andrew Benintendi‘s goal this offseason was put on some weight. No, not the same way that Pablo Sandoval did last spring. The left fielder for the Boston Red Sox aimed to pack on some muscle without coming at the expense of his speed.

A rigorous training regimen has produced impressive results, as Benintendi has bulked up to 185 pounds – the most he’s ever weighed and about 20 pounds heavier than he was at the end of last season.

While adding more power was part of the incentive for putting on more muscle, Benintendi told Masslive’s Christopher Smith that durability has another compelling reason.

"“It’s a long season,” said Benintendi. “Obviously staying healthy’s the main thing. I think that by adding some weight and staying mobile and flexible that overall it will help in the long run.”"

Benintendi has been working out this winter at P3, a facility specializing in performance training for baseball players. Performance coach Steffen Simmons shared a video of Benintendi’s workout on Twitter, showing that he does appear stronger than when we last saw him on the field.

He admits that gaining the weight hasn’t been easy, but the work Benintendi has put in seems to be paying off. Adding muscle could bring a new element to his game, with the potential for more home run power than we’ve seen from him in the past.

No, he’s not going to start mashing enough homers to make up for the loss of David Ortiz on his own, but Benintendi will certainly see some improvement in that department in what will be considered his rookie season.

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Last year Benintendi hit only two home runs in 118 plate appearances, which would have him flirting with double-digits if you extrapolate that over a full season. While he only swiped one bag during his brief stint in the big leagues, he has the speed to be a threat on the base paths and stole 16 bases in 97 games across two minor league levels in 2016.

If Benintendi adds more power to his bat while retaining that speed, could a 20/20 season be obtainable? That may be a bit optimistic for a rookie, considering only nine major league hitters topped 20 home runs and 20 steals last season. His teammate Mookie Betts was one of those hitters, falling four steals shy of being the only 30/30 player in the majors.

Benintendi has hit 20 home runs in 151 games and 657 plate appearances – essentially a full season of work – since beginning his professional career in 2015. Granted the vast majority of that came in the minors, so Benintendi will find it far more difficult to take big league pitchers deep.

Still, he did hit a couple in the majors last year, plus he added another on the postseason stage. With the additional muscle he’s added this winter, a few more of those doubles he hit before might start clearing the fence.

Next: Filling potential rotation holes in 2017

Already considered one of the top prospects in baseball, Benintendi enters 2017 among the favorites for the Rookie of the Year award. Topping 20 homers may not be a fair projection for him yet, but he has the tools to become one of the better all-around players in the game. Given how hard he appears to be working this offseason, his breakout may come even sooner than expected.