Five critical individual stats Red Sox must improve in 2020
By Tim Starr
Andrew Benintendi was the man in 2018 – a dependable hitter who you could always count on to drive in runners on base. 2019 Benintendi was a bit different – reduced power and increased strikeouts.
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Benny’s strikeouts increased A LOT in 2019 – 106 in 2018 to 140 in 2019. Benintendi was trusted with the role of the leadoff spot to begin 2019, but the Red Sox were forced to bump him down to the 5-spot after a miserable April and May.
His drop in the batting order can be traced to the increased number of strikeouts. With his speed, Benintendi needs to be putting the ball in play as much as possible. Also, as a leadoff man, getting on base is key as it allows for the big bats in the lineup to drive you in.
If he were to cut his strikeouts back to 2018 levels then his on-base percentage would go up as a result. If strikeouts don’t ail the former first-round pick in 2020, he can go back to raking at the top of the Red Sox order.
It’s not as if 2019 was an awful season for him as he put up a league-average, 100 OPS+. He had a hot streak in July, showing that he still has the ability to be a superstar.
Hopefully, 2019 was just a blip in his career and he can go back to his normal form. A good first step in 2020 would be cutting down on strikeouts and focusing on putting the ball in play.