Boston Red Sox 2015 first-round pick: Andrew Benintendi (outfielder)
The Boston Red Sox used the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft on outfielder Andrew Benintendi.
Benintendi had plenty of hype surrounding him coming out of Arkansas in 2015. Riding a monster season, Boston managed to scoop him up at seven.
The left-handed hitting outfielder flew through the minor leagues. In 2015, he appeared in 35 games for Low-A and 19 more for Full-A. Benintendi slashed .313/.416/.556 that season.
He started 2016 in Advanced-A, playing 34 games before getting promoted to Double-A. After just 63 games there, Benintendi was promoted again. Not to Triple-A, though. Instead, he was sent straight to the Major Leagues.
Benintendi's 2016 in the Majors went well. The outfielder slashed .295/.359/.476 in 34 games. His 2017 season saw him hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases. Then in 2018, he hit 41 doubles and six triples. He also stole 21 bases. All of those are still career highs.
2018 also saw Benintendi make a phenomenal play to end a playoff game against the Houston Astros. Boston won the World Series that season with the fan-favorite "Killer B's" in the outfield (Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts).
His production dipped in 2019 but was still solid. Then in 2020, Benintendi slashed .103/.314/.128 over 14 games. He was traded to the Kansas City Royals before the 2021 season.
Benintendi had a solid bounce-back year in 2021, then a solid (although powerless) 2022 that included getting traded to the New York Yankees. In the offseason, he signed a big contract with the Chicago White Sox. He's been okay there in 2023.
Benintendi was an early pick that many expected to make it to the Majors relatively fast. He somehow flew past even that and was in Boston before the end of his first full season in the organization.
While with the Red Sox, Benintendi had some defining moments and great seasons. However, there's been a plateau that he can't seem to pass. Benintendi's a solid player, but it's not a complete performance.
He's definitely a success, but it's hard not to be a little disappointed after such a promising start to his career.
Draft Grade: B