Benny joins 25/25 club
Andrew Benintendi already joined the 20/20 club in 2017 when he hit 20 home runs and stole 20 bases. This year he takes it a step further by reaching 25+ in both categories.
While his home run total dipped a bit to 16 last year, that doesn’t mean the power in Benintendi’s bat is on the decline. On the contrary, Benny Biceps saw significant increases in doubles (41), triples (6), and OPS (.830) last season. An uptick in power should be expected in his age-24 season.
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Reaching 25 home runs and steals isn’t a huge leap from what Benintendi has done in each of the last two years, which may lead you to believe this prediction isn’t all that bold. However, we have to recognize the rare company this accomplishment would put him in. There were only four members of the 25/25 club last year – Betts, Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, and Jose Ramirez. All four of them were All-Stars last season. Betts was the AL MVP and the others finished no lower than eighth on the ballot.
Benintendi’s sweet swing is designed to drive the ball to all fields more so than smash the ball out of the park. He’s similar to Betts in that he’s not stepping to the plate looking for the home run but by making solid contact he will get his fair share of line drives to clear the fence.
Does that mean the 30/30 club is within reach? Betts and Ramirez were the only major league players to join that group last season. That prediction seems a bit too bold. In Mookie’s case, at least we saw him come close to a 30/30 season in 2016. It would take a far greater leap for Benny to get there.
The 24-year old may get there someday but for 2019 we’ll keep our prediction at a more realistic 25/25 season. That would warrant Benintendi making his first All-Star appearance and may even garner him a few MVP votes.