After their 2018 the Red Sox are the talk of the baseball world. With big names on the roster, it’s Andrew Benintendi that’s the best bet to break out in 2019.
This past season was a sort of coming out party for Andrew Benintendi. Yes, the likes of Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez got the majority of the spotlight, but Benni opened the door. Whether it was his top of the league defending or clutch at-bats, Andrew Benintendi was a rock for the Red Sox.
Spring training will be here before we know it and we’ll be right back in the thick of the season. The Red Sox will be heading into 2019 looking to defend their crown and Benintendi will be a key cog in the wheel. Betts is coming off of an MVP campaign and Martinez was not far behind. But in my eyes, Benni is positioning himself to be the star in 2019.
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2018 saw Benintendi put up a line of .290/.366/.465/.830, all were improvements over his 2017 season. He also saw an improvement in his K/BB ratio finishing at 106/71 over 2017’s 112/70. So his plate work is on the incline and doesn’t appear to be slowing down whatsoever. He was also key in the Red Sox clutch 2-out hitting that steamrolled the rest of the MLB this past season.
This past season also saw him dominate in the outfield finishing first in OF Assists, LF Assists, LF Double Plays, and Total Zone Runs as LF. Just an absolute defensive onslaught that is still leaving fans wondering how he didn’t walk away with a Gold Glove. Seriously, how the hell does that happen? The guy crushed everyone all season in LF and yet he doesn’t get the Gold Glove, I call shenanigans!
What did happen was the highlight reel he put on in the outfield during the postseason. Leaping like he was Michael Jordan on a pair of Nikes in Fenway Park to save the game. Then there was game 4 of the ALCS, in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and the game on the line, Houston was threatening. Red Sox kryptonite Alex Bregman was coming to the plate and he connected on a liner to LF that brought the crowd to their feet.
Unfortunately for Bregman, Left Field is where Andrew Benintendi lives. Benni got a jump on the ball and leaped into the air and snagged the ball just before it was about to hit the ground. Benintendi would pop up from the turf and let out a massive roar as he just saved the game and gave the Red Sox a massive 3-1 lead in the win column. That catch would earn Andrew the “AP Play of the Year Award.” A massive honor that covers EVERY sport, he was the king of ’em all.
It was also let out this week that the Red Sox are heavily interested in rewarding Benni with an extension. He is eligible for arbitration starting in 2020 and is a free agent in 2023. For what he’s done for the Red Sox the last three seasons he’s more than earned a pay raise.
WIth some big names becoming free agents in the next couple of seasons I don’t expect it to be massive, but it will be substantial. Keeping Benni will be a massive move to continue Boston’s success for the near future. He’s been a rock in the Boston outfield for his entire time with the team and I would love to see him get what he’s earned.
With a roster full of stars it looks as if 2019 will be the year for Andrew Benintendi to take his place among them. WIth a hell of a 2018 and all the momentum in the world behind him, I look for Benni to continue his ascension. With a lot of question marks coming up for the Red Sox in the near future, Benintendi can be the foundation for the future. 2019 is going to be one hell of a ride for the World Champs and their star Left Fielder.