Boston Red Sox 2019 Report Cards: Left Fielder Andrew Benintendi
Evaluating the 2019 season of Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi and assigning a grade based on how his production lived up to expectations.
Following a sublime 2018 season, expectations were high for Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi. All in all, Benintendi’s numbers were down from 2018 and with a number of his teammates having great individual seasons, the spotlight was taken away from him.
Benintendi started off the year batting from the top of the order. Alex Cora decided to make changes that should have allowed more RBI opportunity for 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts, as he hit below Benintendi. However, this didn’t look like a productive plan for this side. Andrew continued to hit from the top-end of the order but moved down to second after a month or so. After the month of June, it was evident that his form wasn’t what it was last season and Cora made the decision to drop him down to the middle order.
Although there was no huge change in Benny’s performance, he started getting hot as we entered the last couple of months of the season. He recorded 26 runs in the month of August, trying to help the Sox keep their wildcard dreams alive – which didn’t last too long.
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In the outfield, Benintendi continued to be a great asset to this side, recording nine assists on the year. At the plate, there’s plenty to improve on – but it was far from a disaster. With the Sox doing so poorly in their title defense, exceptions were high on pretty much everyone, and it wasn’t realistic. Especially in a season where a lot of things have changed for the team, particularly down the stretch.
The former Razorback played ten fewer games than he did in the following regular season campaign, which can be considered a bit when looking at his numbers. But looking at what he recorded from the plate, the main negative, which we haven’t seen as apparent in the last couple of seasons is his strikeout numbers. Benny struck out on 140 over 615 total plate appearances – nearly being punched out one every four times he comes up to bat. This is clearly something that’s holding him back, but it’s something we know he can turn around.
His swing is one of the most fundamentally perfect ones in the majors, and with plenty of discipline, like he’s shown he has in the past, these numbers could skyrocket.
Benintendi didn’t have a bad season. However, for a baseball player of his standard, I think a C+ is pretty applicable. There were plenty of players who didn’t reach their expected levels this year, and although Benny had a decent year, he was tipped for a great one by a lot of Sox fans.
From the plate, his numbers were down pretty much all across the board and you could see his frustration at the dish for large parts of the year. It didn’t seem like he was enjoying baseball like the way he loved it last year – which is pretty much the same for everyone associated with this great baseball club.
After reaching an arbitration agreement with the Sox last offseason, Benintendi is still awaiting his first big major league deal. However, with an arbitration opportunity again available for next season, it might not happen right now. With a complete re-structure of the front office, there are going to be changes in the way the Sox handle financial decisions. But Benintendi will surely play a big part in the future of this franchise.
With plenty of changes potentially happening, Benintendi is a vital piece that the Sox need to hold onto. His ability out in left field is something the Sox haven’t had in years, maybe even since Carl Yastrzemski graced the left field grass at Fenway. He’s got plenty of growing to do in terms of his game but the foundations of a perennial All-Star are certainly there. Let’s hope he remains in Boston for the foreseeable future