Red Sox Prospect Watch: Spring Training is in Full Swing
By Mike El-Far
The last month or so of the 2016 Red Sox season was more or less a big disappointment. The team limped into the playoffs after a hot July and August. With their first playoff birth since they won the World Series in 2013, it ended almost as quick as it started. The Cleveland Indians swept the Sox in 3 games, and it was borderline embarrassing.
But, one of the very few bright spots of those couple weeks were the debut and emergence of Andrew Benintendi. Now that he has spent a small amount of time in the big leagues, 2017 is his first full season in the majors. And if the Grapefruit League is any indication of how he will perform this year, Boston might have the best outfield in baseball.
Benintendi has been absolutely spraying the ball, hitting .444 in six games so far. Add in the fact he has hit two long-balls and four home runs, and you can see Benintendi has the ability to hit the ball all over the field.
Currently, Benintendi is projected to hit roughly .285 with roughly 11 home runs and 60 RBI’s. Personally, I think that is a very fair projection. Benintendi should be hitting in the two spot of the lineup, and that is not very conducive to driving in a lot of runs. But, with Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia probably sandwiching him in the lineup, it is going to be hard to not go after Benintendi. If anything, he will get better pitches to hit than either of the guys next to him.
While Benintendi is losing his prospect status within the first two weeks of this season, he is still considered a prospect under the current rules of MLB. And for a fleeting moment, the Red Sox are very happy they have the best prospect in baseball.