Red Sox: Top-10 reasons to get excited about baseball in 2018
Last season, Andrew Benintendi quietly had a very solid rookie campaign. In his first full season, Benintendi launched 20 homers and swiped 20 bags. He struck out less than 18 percent of the time and had a wRC+ of 103 with a slash line of .271/.352/.424.
While those numbers aren’t mind-boggling by any stretch, the rest of the Red Sox line up made Benintendi look like Babe Ruth last season. If Benintendi was this same player for the next five years the Red Sox would have no reason to complain.
But here’s the kicker: he’s 23. Players who can perform at even a slightly above-average level at the age of 22 have very high success rates and nothing about Benintendi should lead us to expect he will be anything but a very good player for a very long time.
With a full year of experience under his belt perhaps this will be a breakout season for Benintendi. The hair may have been cut, but the hit tool is still there. Benintendi may be the best pure hitter on the Red Sox and we should all be excited about the prospect of watching him come into his own.