Boston Red Sox: Five things for fans to look forward to in 2020
By Drew Athans
For all of the great young homegrown talent the Red Sox have, there was one player who didn’t take his game to the next level in 2019 the way his three teammates mentioned previously did. That would be Andrew Benintendi, who followed a very good 2018 season with a dismal campaign in 2019. His power numbers have been in decline since the second half of 2018, but they seemed to abandon him altogether in 2019.
As I analyzed earlier this year, Benintendi saw a sharp decline not only in his power but in every other offensive category. Additionally, his defense in left field was not nearly as good as it had been in the past and his body language and visible frustration were evident throughout the season. It was a miserable year for an exciting young player who looked ready to make the leap in his third full season in the big leagues.
Even though the Red Sox and Benintendi were far apart on his worth, arbitration settled it in Benintendi’s favor and he netted a huge pay raise, going from $717,500 in 2019 to $4.9 million in 2020. With that increased price tag are going to come increased expectations for Andrew to have a great season in 2020.
I’ve been a Benintendi fan since he first came up to the majors in the second half of the 2016 season and one of the things I’m looking forward to this year is seeing him bounce back and get back to being the player we all expected him to be after his first two years.
I not only want to see him get and keep that sweet left-handed swing on track, but I want to see him get back to the solid defensive outfielder he was before. And if he could become a better baserunner (my one consistent knock on him his entire career), all the better.