Red Sox Strut: Outfielder Andrew Benintendi, LHP Chris Sale
By Sean Penney
Position Player who gets to Strut
If you’re trying to figure out who the hottest hitter in baseball is this month, look no further than Andrew Benintendi.
The rookie outfielder is tearing the cover off the ball in August, hitting a blistering .457 with a 1.410 OPS, four home runs and 12 RBI in only nine games. The Red Sox sat Benintendi for a couple of days to clear his head and work on the mechanics of his swing. He returned on August 3 with a three-hit performance that proved the brief benching did him a world of difference.
Benintendi went 10-for-22 (.455) at the plate last week. He blasted three home runs during the weekend series in New York, including a two-homer game on Saturday that included six RBI. It was his third multi-home run game, bringing Benintendi’s total to 16 homers this season. His six RBI tied a career high that he set in his last multi-homer game on the Fourth of July in Texas. The 23-year old is now the youngest player in franchise history to record multiple six-RBI games in the same season. He’s also the youngest Red Sox player to drive in six runs in a game against the Yankees.
Clearly the rookie enjoys hitting in Yankee Stadium, although it’s not as if the pitcher-friendly confines of Tropicana Field slowed his bat down. Benintendi warmed up for his trip to the Bronx by collecting five hits, including a double, during the two-game series against the Rays.
Aaron Judge opened up a tremendous lead in the Rookie of the Year race with an MVP-caliber first half, so that honor may be out of reach for Benintendi. However, with the Yankees slugger slumping since the break as Boston’s left fielder is heating up, don’t be surprised if Benintendi at least makes it a more interesting race down the stretch.