ANDREW S. BENINTENDI
Image of
Nickname:   N/A Position:   OF
Home: N/A Team:   ROYALS
Height: 5' 9" Bats:   L
Weight: 180 Throws:   L
DOB: 7/6/1994 Agent: Arland Sports
Uniform #: 16  
Birth City: Cincinnati, OH
Draft: Red Sox #1 - 2015 - Out of Univ. of Arkansas
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2015 SAL GREENVILLE   19 74 17 26 5 0 4 16 3 2 10 9 .430 .581 .351
2015 NYP LOWELL   35 124 19 36 2 4 7 15 7 1 25 15 .408 .540 .290
2016 EL PORTLAND   63 237 40 70 18 5 8 44 8 7 24 30 .357 .515 .295
2016 CAR SALEM   34 135 30 46 13 7 1 32 8 2 15 9 .413 .563 .341
2016 AL RED SOX   34 105 16 31 11 1 2 14 1 0 10 25 .359 .476 .295
2017 AL RED SOX $549.00 151 573 84 155 26 1 20 90 20 5 70 112 .352 .424 .271
2018 AL RED SOX $621.00 148 579 103 168 41 6 16 87 21 3 71 106 .366 .465 .290
2019 AL RED SOX $718.00 138 541 72 144 40 5 13 68 10 3 59 140 .343 .431 .266
2020 AL RED SOX   14 39 4 4 1 0 0 1 1 2 11 17 .314 .128 .103
2021 AL ROYALS   134 493 63 136 27 2 17 73 8 9 36 97 .324 .442 .276
Personal
  • Andrew was both an outfielder/pitcher in baseball and a guard in basketball in high school, scoring the most career points in school history.

  • In 2013, Andrew was the Gatorade baseball player of the year. He was also the ACBA/Rawlings national high school player of the year.

  • In 2013, Benintendi graduated from Madeira High School in Cincinnati. He passed up his hometown Reds in June, when they drafted him in the 31st round. Instead, Andrew went to the University of Arkansas on a baseball scholarship.

    But the Arkansas coaching staff encouraged the center fielder to not play baseball after a freshman year in which he was limited by wrist and hamstring injuries. They encouraged him instead to work out and gain strength.

    If Benintendi did so, the staff thought, he would take a considerable step forward in his sophomore year that might position him to be a top pick in the 2016 draft.

    Benintendi followed the plan, adding what he estimated to be about 15 pounds of muscle. That led to a breakout 2015 campaign that included a NCAA Division I-leading 19 home runs on top of a .380/.489/.715 batting line and 23 steals.

  • In 2015, the Red Sox drafted Benintendi (see Transactions below).

  • In 2015, Baseball America named Benintendi as their college baseball Player of the Year. Benintendi, who was the seventh overall pick in the MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox, was in the midst of a fantastic season in which he is tied for the lead nationally in home runs and is third in the nation with a .715 slugging percentage. He also had 55 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. To put simply, he has the complete package.  Benintendi was the first player in Arkansas history to ever win this award.

  • Benintendi enjoyed a legendary high school career in the suburbs of Cincinnati before tearing it up in Fayetteville, AR.  The “Ohio Hit King” has unorthodox speed and power for a kid who’s relatively small at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds. But despite his resume, coaches say he keeps a good attitude. “I mean, his teammates love him. They all pull for him,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn told Baseball America. “You can just tell. All he ever talks about is the team and winning. He’s pretty humble. And it’s good to see. And the players have appreciated how he’s handled the draft, and they’re excited about it.” (Dan Stack - June 11, 2015)

  • Benintendi left the University of Arkansas as the most prolific award-winner in school history. He won the Golden Spikes Award, Dick Howser Award, Collegiate Baseball Magazine Player of the Year and Baseball America Player of the Year. He led the Southeastern Conference in home runs (20), batting average (.376), slugging (.717), on-base (.488), and walks (55) and was top 25 in the country in each category, as well.

  • In 2015, Benintendi was named the top Southeastern Conference male athlete by the league's athletic directors. Commissioner Greg Sankey announced the 2014-2015 Roy F. Kramer SEC Male Athlete of the Year honor.
  • Before the 2015 season, Andrew took time off from summer ball and committed himself in the weight room, packing on about 10 pounds. “I approached it like a job this summer, really,” Benintendi said. “I just dedicated myself to getting bigger and stronger.”

  • Benintendi is very even keeled. He remains calm in all circumstances, it seems. He has a quiet confidence.

  • August 2015: Andrew could be overwhelmed by the pressure. He could allow the expectations of being a first round pick with a $3.6 million signing bonus weigh on his mind. He could be bothered by the doubters who — even after he was selected 2015 NCAA college baseball Player of the Year by four different publications — still wonder out loud how the Red Sox could be so thrilled by a fairly unimpressive-looking 5-foot-10, 180-pounder.

    Even if he did lead the nation with 20 home runs in the spring of 2015. But instead, Benintendi simply exudes swagger as he exits the batting cage at LeLacheur Park, his confident smile shining as bright as the blazing hot August sun.

    “It just seems like nothing bothers him,” said Lowell Spinners hitting coach Iggy Suarez. “I can only imagine the pressure all that hype brings. But he is so low key. I remember meeting him when he got here and thinking, ‘How is he so calm? I thought I was under a lot of pressure.’”

    “I have always had extremely high expectations for myself,” said Benintendi while with the Lowell Spinners in 2015. “But I don’t think I could have predicted all of this so soon. This year has been fantastic, and playing professional baseball is a dream come true.”                                                                                                                                  

  • Benintendi grew up a passionate Reds fan, living just 10 minutes from the team’s home, the Great American Ball Park. Like so many youngsters, as a child Benintendi was dazzled by the play of the man patrolling center field for the Reds—Ken Griffey Jr.

    “Griffey was my hero,” said Benintendi. “His swing was just so smooth and effortless. It was like the ball just jumped off his bat. And he was so cool.”

    As a senior at Madeira High School in Cincinnati, Benintendi hit .564 with 12 home runs, 57 RBIs and 38 stolen bases, winning ABCA/Rawlings National High School Player of the Year. He was then selected by the Reds in the 31st round of the 2013 draft but elected not to sign.

    “I knew right away I was going to college,” he said. “I think I was asking for too much money, so after the first two rounds I knew I was going to Arkansas.”

    In 2015, Benintendi led the nation with 20 home runs, hitting .376 with 57 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. As he was delivering his monster season, Boston quickly emerged as a favorite destination. And when the draft arrived, the Red Sox picked him seventh overall. He signed with scout Chris Mears.

    “I was so happy the Red Sox picked me,” he said. “The Sox, Cubs and Astros were really the teams that stood out. Boston was definitely where I wanted to go. I was in the locker room watching the draft after we won the NCAA Super Regionals. My parents and teammates were there and to hear my name was amazing.”

  • Benintendi dominated the college baseball awards season after a monster 2015. Here are the awards he took home:

    — Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year

    — Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year

    — Golden Spikes Player of the Year

    — SEC Male Athlete of the Year

    — Dick Howser Trophy (considered the Heisman Trophy of baseball)

    Baseball America National Player of the Year

  • In 2016, Baseball America rated Benintendi as the third-best prospect in the Red Sox organization. But they moved Andrew up to #1 prospect in the spring of 2017.

  • Andrew is so small that his last name is difficult to squeeze on the shoulder/back of his uniform.

  • Andrew's overall fit for baseball seems to be perfect—unlike his first love (basketball), which he acknowledges he was just too small to play for a living.  When did Benintendi—who is perhaps generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds—go all in on his quest to be a professional baseball player?

    "Probably freshman year of high school," Benintendi said. "My favorite sport back then was basketball. I'm not the tallest guy, so that kind of put some restrictions on what I could do basketball-wise. I think baseball was really reality when I was a freshman in high school."

    And why not? Benintendi's freshman spring of high school was 2010, two years after Dustin Pedroia (5-foot-9, 165 pounds) won the American League's MVP for the Red Sox. "That's the beautiful thing about baseball," Benintendi said. "You can be any size and be successful. I can't do much about my height, but I can do a lot of things in strength and speed and work on that. I'm going to try to do that the best I can to make me a better ballplayer."

    Few could have anticipated how swiftly Benintendi's stock would rise after his mediocre freshman season at Arkansas.  But that was followed by a prolific sophomore season, which wound up being the end of his college career. Many evaluators felt Benintendi was the best position player in college 2015, and he won virtually every award that could recognize that.

    "I wouldn't say a breakthrough," said Benintendi. "I know my freshman year, I think I was trying to be a different kind of player than what I had been in years previous to that. Last year I just tried to focus on hitting the ball hard and squaring everything up, and fortunately enough, balls would fall and I did pretty well."

    "Obviously, to be that high up on those lists is an honor," said Benintendi. "There's a lot of good players on there. I try not to pay attention to that and just go play baseball and only control the things I can control."  (Browne - MLB.com - 3/7/16)

  • In Spring Training 2016, Benintendi said, "I'm just trying to hit the ball hard in the gaps. Just back-spinning baseballs and hitting line drives. I've still got a lot to work on. I've always been gifted and I've been very blessed with my tools that I've been given."  

    How does Benintendi put so much authority on the baseball with such a small frame?  "It's hard to put a finger on that one," said Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett. "I think natural ability and he does a good job getting loft on the ball and he's got a really short swing and great bat speed."

    Benintendi's adjustment to pro ball in 2015, looked virtually seamless.  "I think the SEC really prepared me for professional baseball," Benintendi said. "Seeing guys like Carson Fulmer in the SEC, I think he was the eighth overall pick [by the White Sox]. Seeing those guys really helped make the transition not as hard.

    "The biggest adjustment I think was swinging the wood bat. I had swung the wood bat for three summers, but it had been a while. I had noticed when I was in Lowell, the first week or two, I was getting jammed a lot, so I had to make a little adjustment there and just work on that a little bit."  

    When will he be ready for the Big Leagues?  "It's not up to me. I'm just going to go play," Benintendi said. "When they decide I'm ready, that will be the time. I can only control what I can control, and that's to go play hard every day."  (Browne - MLB.com - 3/6/16)

  • April-May 2016: Benintendi strung together an impressive 23-game hitting streak for the Salem Red Sox (CAR). It tied the Salem franchise record set by Art Howe of the 1971 Salem Rebels.

    Andrew was being aggressive. He didn't get into many two-strike counts during the streak.

    "But when I do get to a two-strike count, I try to shorten up and just put the ball in play. If a pitcher makes a good pitch, I just try to foul it off and just wait 'til he makes a mistake," Benintendi said.

  • June 28, 2016: Benintendi was chosen to represent the Red Sox at the Sirius-XM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego.

  • August 3, 2016:  If Andrew remained calm on the outside after striking his first Major League hit, a laser single to left in the third inning, his family members let the emotion flow in their seats behind home plate. Chris Benintendi, Andrew's dad, raised his arms in triumph and stayed in that pose for a while. Jill, Andrew's mother, hugged nearby family members.

    "That was a lot of fun," said Chris Benintendi. "He played well, number one, but he was able to share this experience with 18 people here from Cincinnati and countless others back home watching it on TV so it was great."  It was a moment nobody in the family will ever forget, and the only bummer was that the Red Sox took a 3-1 loss to the Mariners.  On a night Boston produced just seven hits, two came from Benintendi, who also laced a single to right in the eighth.  

    "It felt good to get it out of the way," said Andrew Benintendi. "I don't really know how to explain it. Just one of those things you dream about your entire life. Got to first base, and it kind of set in. It was really exciting."  

    Just 14 months after he was drafted by the Red Sox, it's a bit surreal for Benintendi and his family that he's in the Major Leagues and ready to help out in a pennant race.  Would the word ecstatic accurately sum up the way the family felt when Andrew Benintendi was summoned to the Major Leagues earlier this week?  

    "I guess you could say that. I think we all were," said Chris. "Quite honestly, we're thrilled with Andrew because this was a goal of his and he accomplished a goal and it's no different than our daughters accomplishing a goal they have in mind or quite frankly many parents have kids that do things that they set out to do and they probably feel the same pride that Jill and I feel tonight."  

    Benintendi was pleased to give his cheering section a reason to applaud.

    "Some of them flew up this morning, and they're flying out tonight, so I've had a support system like that my entire life, whether it be high school or college," Benintendi said. "I'm really not surprised they made the long trip out here from Cincinnati and I'm grateful that they did."  (Browne - MLB.com)

  • When Andrew was 5 years old, his father, Chris, took him out on the acre the family owned in southwest Ohio to practice shagging fly balls.  Chris Benintendi would grab a tennis ball and a racquet, hitting the ball as hard as he could. His firstborn would leg out the high flies, catching them nearly every time.

    Chris Benintendi, a partner at a Cincinnati law firm, never suspected his only son would make it this far. "Looking back, maybe he was showing us some special things, but we didn't know it," Chris said. "We just thought it was kind of cool."  "They were just out playing ball," Jill Benintendi said of the days her husband and son spent in the backyard with the tennis ball. "But now, you do look at it and you go, 'What other 5-year-old . . . ?'"

    If her little tyke was abnormally athletic, odds are that Jill herself probably had something to do with it. She and her husband were both varsity athletes in high school, she on the hardwood and him playing the hot corner. One of Chris Benintendi's sisters, too, is a former college basketball standout. And while Chris Benintendi can't say he's always seen his son as Major League material, he thinks Andrew's athletic aptitude has always been around.

    "He's not a kid that you would look at and say, 'This guy looks like a professional baseball player,'" Chris said of Andrew. "But he's athletic, and he's always been athletic, even as a small child. When he was a baby, he'd pick up a ball and shoot into a little hoop. Then we started swinging a bat when he was a little bit older."  

    And to John Kelly, it was apparent from a young age that Andrew had the intangible qualities sport often requires. A Wittenburg University teammate and 30-year friend of Chris Benintendi's, Kelly coached 8-year-old Andrew on a travel baseball team known as the Madeira Crew.  "He was incredibly coachable," Kelly said. "Even at that age, the other players looked up to him. They knew how talented he was. He was the best player on the team; more than that, he was the smartest player on the team."   

  • Andrew's work ethic, too, was second to none. "He had a drive within himself to where, I think, he wanted to be the best, whether he wanted to be the best 7-year-old, the best 10-year-old, the best 18-year-old," Chris Benintendi said. "You wouldn't know it because he's not very outspoken, but we would know."  

    And Jill recalls her son hitting the gym at Madeira High School to shoot hoops for a half hour before classes started, in hopes of making the basketball team as a freshman.  Not only did Andrew, then 5-foot-8 and 135 pounds, make the team, but he smashed records as a four-year varsity starter. And he remains Madeira High's all-time leading scorer by 298 points, as well as the school leader in three-pointers, steals and free throws. In his junior year, he was an Ohio Division III Co-Player of the Year.  

    To hear Jim Reynolds, who coached the high school basketball team for 25 years, tell it, Benintendi always stayed even keeled. Plus, Reynolds said, his skills were just plain impressive. That brought to mind a comment from an opposing coach. "'Man, that kid can play,'" Reynolds remembers being told.  

    His response?  "You should see him play baseball."  (Zahneis - MLB.com - 8/8/16)

  • Feb 24, 2017: He is here from the beginning this season, and Andrew Benintendi could make it one to remember. No Red Sox player has won the AL Rookie of the Year Award since Dustin Pedroia 10 years ago. And perhaps no Boston player was as well-positioned to win the award in the last decade as Benintendi is now.

    "I don't think about it at all," Benintendi said. "I think that's all for other people to look at. That's all talk. I've just got to go out and play well. That's what it comes down to. I don't pay attention to that and don't let it get to me."

    That's exactly the kind of attitude that can lead to a Rookie of the Year season, as Pedroia knows full well.

    "He acts 32," Pedroia of the 22-year-old outfielder, who's ranked as baseball's No. 1 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com. "Just the presence he has, he's always under control. He controls his at-bats. He's going to be good for a long time."

    "He carries himself extremely well," said Red Sox lefty David Price. "He doesn't ever look overwhelmed. Not once did he ever have the deer in the headlights look last year, whether it was in the field, in the box, in the clubhouse, in the dugout. He knows he belongs here. It's going to be fun to watch."

    The reason Benintendi is still considered a rookie is because he had 105 at-bats, 25 lower than the threshold. In truth, Price stopped thinking of Benintendi as a rookie during the prospect's first at-bat in his first Major League start on Aug. 3 at Seattle. Facing Hisashi Iwakuma, Benintendi stayed back and laced a single to left in the third inning.

    "Junkball righty pitching, and the pitch is probably more in than it is away, and he shoots it to left," said Price. "That right there tells you something, doing that in your first big league action, when everybody wants to get the head out in their first couple of at-bats and do something special that way. To see him do that on a pitch that he could have got the head out on to take that single to left, that tells you he's not 22 in that box. He's well beyond his years."

    Though he is a natural center fielder, Benintendi will again guard the Green Monster in left field in Boston's talented outfield that also includes Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts. Left field has been a position of legends for the Red Sox, from Ted Williams to Carl Yastrzemski to Jim Rice to Manny Ramirez. "Jim Rice told me last year, 'Left fielders are people who hit home runs, so you have some shoes to fill,'" said Benintendi. "I'll just try to go in and do as best I can."

    In truth, Benintendi appears more on the track of left-handed hitters who used an inside-out swing to put up big batting average and doubles while playing at Fenway Park. Fred Lynn and Wade Boggs are two that come to mind. "I love hitting in Fenway," said Benintendi. "You hit a popup and sometimes it's off the wall where it would be an out somewhere else."

    The No. 7 pick in the 2015 draft out of Arkansas, Benintendi could emerge into a 15-20-homer type of guy, or perhaps even a few more. "Still working," Benintendi said. "I'm still getting bigger and stronger. Definitely looking forward to putting on some muscle and hitting balls farther." (I Browne - MLB.com - Feb 24, 2017)

  • As a child, Andrew would build confidence in his Madeira, Ohio, backyard with some big rips against his favorite batting practice pitcher—his father Chris.  But after some good rounds, Chris Benintendi would go from mere BP pitcher to "The Big Texan."  

    "We'd always go out back when I was a kid and throw tennis balls," said Andrew Benintendi. "He'll tell you that he was throwing them pretty hard. He would call himself, 'The Big Texan.' I don't know why, but it kind of stuck and he's been kind of my hitting coach, I guess, growing up. I never really had an instructor or anything."

    When "The Big Texan" memory was relayed to Chris Benintendi, there was a chuckle.  "Funny," said Chris Benintendi. "Brings back good memories. After Andrew would get some good swings in, I would summon 'The Big Texan' to come in and heat things up. The first pitch would invariably go behind Andrew's back. In thinking back, the name was likely a reference to the big fireballer from Texas, Nolan Ryan. It seemed back in the day Ryan was the only guy who could bring it to the upper 90s or even 100. Now those guys are all over the MLB. Of course, my impersonation of Ryan was topping out at 62 mph."

    During Andrew's formative years, Chris did his best to prepare his son to not only reach his dream of playing in the Major Leagues, but succeeding at it.  Andrew estimates that his father coached his teams from age 8 to 13.

    "More than anything, he stressed the mental side of the game," said Andrew Benintendi. "It is what it is what you do when you play, but he would teach me just to mentally stay there. That's probably what he preached the most." Clearly, it rubbed off. When you see Benintendi on a daily basis in the Red Sox's clubhouse, it's all but impossible to tell if he's on a hot streak or a cold streak or just chugging along. The expression on his face hardly changes.

    "I think my impact on Andrew, probably more than anything, is just the emotional part of things, handling success and failure," said Chris Benintendi. Chris was able to push his son while also striking the right balance.  "He's awesome," said Andrew. "He's been involved in pretty much everything I've done, whether it be baseball, basketball or whatever. He's just been involved and supportive all the way through."

    "He'll usually text me after a game," said Andrew. "When I was going through that rough patch a couple of weeks ago, he would just give me little reminders. Nothing serious. He would tell me I was getting out in front and things like that. Nothing too serious."  (Browne - mlb.com - 6/15/17)  

  • One of the big thrills of the 2017 season for Andrew's father Chris was going to Fenway Park for Opening Day and sitting in the front row of the Green Monster Seats at Fenway. Andrew had the biggest hit in that win for the Red Sox, a three-run homer.

    "It was a day we'll never forget," said Chris. "It was a great time."  (Browne - mlb.com - 6/15/17)

  • They spanned three entire sections of bleachers in left field, starting near the foul pole and stretching toward left-center. They were mostly from Ohio, but nearly all of them wore Red Sox shirts and hats.

    It was quite a crowd that gathered for the purpose of giving Andrew the warmest welcome possible in his return home to Cincinnati.  The kid from an Ohio suburb called Madeira, which is about 12 miles from Great American Ball Park, was in town to play left field for the Red Sox, and it was a big event for his many supporters.

    Brian and Bob Benintendi, Andrew's uncles on his father's side of the family, orchestrated the massive reunion. Brian wore a shirt that he had custom made to commemorate the event, with the caption, "Benny Baseball's Bleacher Bash, 9/22/17."  "When I put the bleacher idea together, my goal was 200 tickets," said Brian Benintendi.

    The block of tickets Brian and Bob set aside through the Reds grew from 200 to 1,000 based on demand, and more than 85 percent of the block wound up being sold.  "The Reds were stunned," said Brian Benintendi. "They said that's one of the largest groups they've ever had."

    When Andrew Benintendi came to the plate for the first time in the top of the first, his cheering sections roared with approval. He wound up walking.  In the bottom of the first, when Benintendi ran out to left field, they all stood and cheered again. Ever so discreetly, Benintendi gave a thumbs up to acknowledge his family and friends.  Though the low-key rookie isn't one for nostalgia, Benintendi acknowledged the emotions of coming home.

    "I probably got down here four-five times a year and would sit in the Diamond seats," Benintendi said. "I remember watching the guys play and picturing myself out there. It's crazy that I'm here now."

    "I just remember sitting in those stands and seeing some guys that were massive. Guys like Adam Dunn. I remember the bigger Upton brother was here playing, and I was thinking, 'God, these guys are huge.' I was 5-foot-6, 115 pounds at the time. That's probably what I remember the most." (Browne - mbl.com - 9/22/17)

  • Andrew's father, Chris, and mom, Jill, watched the September 22, 2017, game in a suite behind home plate with their parents.

    "Just for his grandparents to be able to see him play, it's special for them to go to their hometown to see their grandson play," Chris Benintendi said. "They're over 80, and it's a real special time for them to see this."

    Once the game started, Brian and Bob Benintendi joked about which one was Andrew's favorite uncle. And they remembered that baseball wasn't the only sport Andrew was known for growing up.  "He was the player we all wanted to be," Bob Benintendi said.

    The diminutive Andrew never dunked, did he?  "No," said Brian Benintendi. "But it didn't matter, because three-pointers are worth more points than a dunk."

    As they recalled the past and enjoyed the present, it was a night nobody in the Benintendi family will forget.  "For him to play in Cincinnati, the Red Sox never play here, this is only the third time they've been here since the 1975 World Series, so for him to be here in his rookie year, that's like a fantasy," said Brian Benintendi.  (Browne - mlb.com - 9/22/17)

  • If you are looking for someone who checks off all the boxes of a winning player, Benintendi is your guy. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound left-handed hitter from Madeira, Ohio, has wasted no time making his presence felt for the Red Sox. In fact, it feels almost like he had two rookie seasons. Benintendi was called up to the Major Leagues in August 2016, just 13 months after being drafted. He provided instant results in a pennant race but maintained his rookie eligibility for 2017 because of a knee injury that limited him to 105 at-bats in 2016.

    Perhaps it's been Benintendi's even-keeled demeanor that has allowed him to thrive at the beginning of his career.

    "You get here and you're going to go through struggles and things like that, and there are other times you're going to play well," said Benintendi. "You've just got to stay even-keeled through it all. Every time I go up to the plate, I think I'm going to get a hit. That confidence never leaves. It's that mindset, I think, that will keep you from going in those big slumps."

    There were games when Benintendi didn't just help the Red Sox win, but carried them. The fact that Benintendi batted second, third, fourth and fifth for Boston in 2017 shows the type of ability he's displayed in a short amount of time.

    It was on defense where Benintendi made his most impressive improvements in 2017. Though he came up as a center fielder, Benintendi made a solid adjustment to left field and started to master the caroms off Fenway's Green Monster. Benintendi's 11 assists were the most among all AL left fielders. It was the most assists by a rookie Red Sox left fielder since Carl Yastrzemski in 1961. Playing alongside Gold Glover Mookie Betts and the spectacular Jackie Bradley Jr. certainly didn't hurt Benintendi's development on defense.

    It definitely pushes me, watching those guys," said Benintendi. "Defense, growing up, was really kind of secondary behind hitting. Up here it's not. Defense can win games and it did this season, and it's probably going to win us some more down the road." (I Browne - MLB.com - Nov 10, 2017)

  • In 2017, Benintendi was the runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year (Aaron Judge).

  • July 13-16, 2018: Andrew was on the bereavement list.

  • Oct 2019: Find out more about Benintendi through this MLB.com interview:

    MLB.com: Let’s talk about the headband. When and why did it start?

    Benintendi: When I used to have long hair, I wore a headband every day. I wear this one now—it’s an American flag. My girlfriend got me this one, so I wear it. I have this one and I have a few other Red Sox ones, but this is the one I wear. I also wear the matching shorts, usually.

    MLB.com: Who are your top three musical artists in your playlist?

    Benintendi: Pretty much all I listen to is country. Top three I’m probably listening to right now is Luke Combs, Jason Aldean and Eric Church. There are others, too, like Chase Rice. And I like LoCash. That’s just kind of my style of country. There are some country songs that sound too pop to me. But I kind of like the more country-sounding sounds, more traditional.

    MLB.com: What does your offseason look like?

    Benintendi: Right away, it’s kind of just relaxing and catching up with family and friends. I’ll go to Cincinnati for a little bit, and then I’ll go to St. Louis where I’ll start working out, hitting, golfing. It gets cold in St. Louis, so we play through that.

    MLB.com: A lot of players go somewhere warm in the offseason. Why did you pick St. Louis?

    Benintendi: This will be my fourth offseason in St. Louis. Initially, I went there to work out at P3 [training facility], and I had a few college teammates who lived there, too, so we would always hang out. Now my girlfriend’s from there. This will be my last year there because she finishes up school. I love St. Louis. It’s kind of like Cincinnati, where I’m from. And not too bad of a drive back home if you need to.

    MLB.com: Who is the person on the team you talk to the most in the offseason?

    Benintendi: I feel like I talk to a decent amount of people. I talk to Brock Holt the most, but I’ll keep in touch with Mitch Moreland, pretty much everybody. I feel like me and Brock, ever since I came up, we’ve been close. Our friendship is awesome. He’s a free agent this year, so hopefully he’s back. When I got called up, he was the guy I’d ask what I need to wear and what time I’d need to be there. I feel like our personalities are similar.

    MLB.com: What’s your favorite kind of food?

    Benintendi: My favorite food would probably be steak. I like my set number of things, and I don’t like to stray from it. It’s basically steak, burgers . . . all the American foods. The steak places I go to in Boston a lot are either Abe & Louie’s or Del Frisco’s, I like those the best. I’ll venture out and get some P.F. Chang’s.

    MLB.com: You’ve had a lot of involvement and interaction with Red Sox fans. What is your most meaningful fan memory so far?

    Benintendi: I’ve done some interviews with the Jimmy Fund in the concourse at Fenway. The kids who interviewed me, it’s fun to do. One girl, it was fun. It was cute to hear her ask questions and then laugh. She was asking me what some of my favorite stuff is.

    MLB.com: If someone would have told you when you walked into Fenway Park in 2016 that you’d be here three years later, having accomplished all you’ve achieved, what would the rookie version of you have thought?

    Benintendi: I would have been pumped, especially after last year. If you’d told me when I walked in and said, “You’ll have been in three postseasons and won a World Series in your first three full seasons,” I’d be super excited. It’s been fun so far." (J Camerato - MLB.com - Oct 11, 2019)

  • Oct 17, 2019: The breakout season that Benintendi expected for himself in 2019 instead became a battle for survival. He spent much of the season trying to keep his head above water, and he at least did that, slashing .266/.343/.431 with 13 homers, 40 doubles and 68 RBIs. But after the glory of 2018, when Benintendi was a consistent force on offense and defense while helping lead Boston to a World Series championship, this was a step back that leaves him driven to rebound going forward.

    A grind?

    “A big one,” Benintendi said. “I feel like there was always something. I’d figure one thing out, and then there would be another issue. Not as consistent as I’d like it to be. Pretty much there was one good stretch, a two-week stretch. Other than that, it was trying to basically just grind and get the job done. Hopefully I can learn from it.”

  • What went right in 2019?

    The fact that Benintendi could belt 40 doubles in an off-year proves how well his stroke is suited for doubles-happy Fenway Park. He also made a strong improvement against lefties, notching a .796 OPS compared to .694 in 2018.

    “I hit lefties better than righties, which is somewhat out of the norm for me,” Benintendi said. “I know I can hit lefties. I think if I hit righties the way I usually do, it’s a completely different year. I still feel like I hit a lot of doubles. There’s a lot that didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but there’s definitely some positives.”

  • What went wrong?

    Benintendi struck out way too often—140 times to be exact.

    “He has a few ideas about what he’s going to work on during the offseason and where we’re going to take him. This guy is going to bounce back,” manager Alex Cora said. “Look at his numbers, look at the doubles. Well, that’s a bad season. There’s just a few things he didn’t do this year that I think he’s going to get better at.”

    Benintendi’s 13 homers were also a career-low in his three full seasons. However, the Red Sox aren’t worried about the power. In fact, that might be what got him into trouble. Benintendi worried too much about bulking up last offseason and it cost him some of his athleticism.

    What is concerning is that Benintendi’s average went from .290 to .266 and his OBP went from .366 to .343.

  • Best moment in 2019?

    When the Red Sox were fighting for playoff positioning from late July to mid-August, Benintendi picked a good time to have his best stretch of the season. From July 24 to Aug. 16, he looked like his 2018 self, putting together a line of .374/.418/.659 with four homers and 18 RBIs. He made a couple of adjustments to his swing, some of which were suggested by the man who has coached him his whole life—his father Chris. But the momentum didn’t last. From Aug. 17 on, Benintendi hit .151 with just one homer in 93 at-bats. (I Browne - MLB.com - Oct 17, 2019)

  • Jan 18, 2020: If you’re looking for the bounce-back candidate of the year for the Red Sox, keep a close eye on left fielder Andrew Benintendi. Hitting coach Tim Hyers went to St. Louis to visit Benintendi earlier this 2019 offseason and loved what he saw.

    “I thought Benintendi was in really good shape. We had a good workout and I think there’s some really good things he’s going to be ready for this year,” Hyers said from Boston’s Winter Weekend. “It was nice to see. He had a really good attitude as far as being energetic and ready to go. We’ll go out and see him again before Spring Training, hang out and see some of the things he’s been working on. I was very encouraged.”

    Benintendi has gotten leaner after bulking up a bit too much heading into last year, which should make him more athletic again.

    “I thought he was in really good shape. Tons of energy. Looking forward to this year,” Hyers said. “He had a good perspective about what he needed to work on moving forward.”

    “We know what Benintendi is capable of doing,” said Hyers. “If he plays up to that ability, he’s really going to benefit the team because he’s an on-base machine, and when he gets on base, good things happen.” (I Browne - MLB.com - Jan 18, 2020)

  •  2019-2020 Seasons: The last two seasons have not been kind to his value. He had a 100 wrc+ in 2019 and a 43 wrc+ in the shortened 2020 season while only playing 14 games.

    The hope would be Benintendi could return to his 2018 form where he hit .290/.366/.465 with 16 HRs, 103 Rs, 87 RBIs, 21 SBs, and a 122 wrc+.

    Defensively, Benintendi is not the best but could be serviceable in left alongside Pache and Acuña. For his career, he has a positive UZR and DRS while playing out in left field. However, Statcast has him with a negative OAA (Outs Above Average) for his career.  (Trent Dickeson - Jan. 10, 2021)

  • Feb 11, 2021: While Andrew was rising to the top of draft boards as one of the nation’s best collegiate baseball players, he was keeping an eye on a Major League team about three hours away from the University of Arkansas. It was 2015, and the Royals were finding their way back to the World Series for a second straight year.

    “It was electric,” Benintendi said about the Royals’ 2015 World Series championship, which he watched with college friends after he was drafted seventh overall that year by the Red Sox.

    Six years later, Benintendi will now join a Royals team looking to contend again. Kansas City acquired the outfielder from the Red Sox in a three-team trade with the Mets, sending outfielder Franchy Cordero and two players to be named later to Boston and outfield prospect Khalil Lee to New York. “I know the kind of energy and kind of play that Royals manager Mike Matheny and the front office want and expect,” Benintendi said from his home in Cincinnati. “I’m just going to go play as hard as I can and try to help the team, and that’s what it comes down to. Winning games and getting better.”

  • Benintendi and Matheny have known each other for some time, as Benintendi played with Matheny’s son Tate in the Red Sox's farm system. Their relationship goes back even further, though, when Benintendi’s Razorbacks beat Tate Matheny’s Missouri State Bears in the 2015 NCAA Super Regional.

    When they played in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Mike Matheny couldn't help but notice Benintendi at the plate. “Sweet swing,” Matheny said. “Trying to watch his swing through a scout’s eye, you see this guy had a real nice idea of plate awareness, and the stats go with that as well. Just didn’t have a lot of swing and miss, didn’t have a lot of chase. He’s not a great big guy, but back then, you could see the ball jumped off his bat different. It just had a different ball flight. You saw a lot of things that would probably lead in a direction that he was going to have some success, and that’s what he did right out of the box.”

    That summer, the Red Sox drafted Benintendi and Tate Matheny in the first and fourth rounds, respectively. Their rivalry quickly turned into a friendship. Benintendi has spent a few off-seasons in St. Louis, where Mike Matheny managed from 2012-18, and worked out with Tate Matheny frequently. Mike Matheny even threw a few batting practices for the players.

    “Got to spend a little bit of time with him and saw that this is obviously a talented player and really liked the person as well,” Matheny said. “They were both quick on the phone yesterday. Tate called me, couldn’t believe it and was so excited for Andrew.” But Matheny noted that Benintendi’s presence immediately gives the lineup some depth, and he could hit anywhere. Benintendi, too, thinks his approach will fit well with Kauffman Stadium’s expansive ballpark.

    “I’ve always loved playing there, and something about it, I feel like I see the ball well,” Benintendi said. “It’s exciting. It’s a big field. I feel like I’m a gap-to-gap hitter, and then those gaps there are pretty big, so let’s see if we can run a little bit.”

    Benintendi says he’s healthy after missing all but 14 games in 2020 because of broken ribs, and he spent the offseason focusing on his diet and working on his swing to get back to what it was two years ago. He acknowledged that in 2019, he changed his approach to try to lift the ball, seeking more power in his swing. It didn’t work the way he hoped it would, and his production fell. After hitting .290/.366/.465 in '18, Benintendi hit .266/.343/.431 in ’19.

    Now, he feels his swing is back to where it should be for the type of player he is.

    “At the time, I think that’s where the game was, and it might be getting away from that a little bit now,” Benintendi said. “So I was trying to go up there and hit for more power, and I mean, I’m 5'9" and 175 pounds, so I realized that I’m not going to be up there hitting 30 homers a year. Now I understand the player I am, the player I want to be. Physically, I feel back where I need to be, swing feels good. So just putting everything together.” (A Rogers - MLB.com - Feb 11, 2021)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2015: The Red Sox chose Benintendi in the first round (#7 overall), out of the University of Arkansas.  And he signed for $3.6 million.

  • Feb 8, 2020: The Red Sox and Andy avoided arbitration, agreeing to a two-year contract for $10 million—$3.4 million for 2020 and $6.6 million for 2021.

  • Feb 10, 2021: In a three-team deal, the Mets acquired prospect Khalil Lee from the Royals. The Royals sent RHP Josh Winckowski and a PTBNL to the Red Sox. The Red Sox also get OF Franchy Cordero and two PTBNL from the Royals. And the Royals get OF Andrew Benintendi and cash from the Red Sox.  

  • May 13, 2022: Benintendi won his arbitration case with the Royals, a club official confirmed to MLB.com. The 27-year-old left fielder filed for a 2022 salary of $8.5 million, and Kansas City countered with $7.3 million.
Batting
  • Benintendi has very strong wrists and forearms that help with his plus raw power (60). At this point, most of his power is to the pull side. But he can also drive the ball to the opposite field for doubles. He has a very strong core, Popeye forearms and a real knack for barreling a baseball.

    His combination of power from the left side of the plate, and his excellent speed is rather unique and impressive. Benintendi is an above-average hitter (with a superb 70 grade), above-average runner (55 grade), and solid-average power hitter at a premium defensive position. That’s a strong combination.

    Andrew is going to make a few All-Star Game appearances, along with a batting title or two because he combines excellent hand-eye coordination with pitch recognition so that he doesn't expand the strike zone. That makes for a guy who avoids slumps. (Spring, 2017)

  • Andrew has an exceptionally balanced approach at the plate. He closed up his open stance and the ball jumps off his bat better. Benintendi may be small, but he is strong in all the right places, especially his hands and forearms. Plus his very quick wrists help produce surprising power.

    “He has such a nice swing,” a minor league manager who saw Benintendi last season said. “It’s one of the nicest swings you’ll see. It’s smooth and it stays through the zone the whole time. He could be a 15-20 home run guy in the big leagues, but I don’t know where it comes from. He hits it like a guy who’s 220-240 pounds. He has bat speed.” (Spring, 2017)

  • In 2015, Andrew led Division I with 20 homers. Then he followed that up with 11 more in his pro debut.

  • Benintendi has exceptional pitch recognition skills. He has a good feel for hitting. He recognizes how teams pitch him. Sure, lefthanders get him out somewhat regularly for now (2016), but Andrew makes adjustments and uses the whole field.

    “His game awareness and ability to do things in the box over the course of the game was really impressive,” Red Sox area scout Chris Mears said. “The risk was less for me, given what the upside can be.”

    Andrew's ability to hit for average and power is thanks in part to extremely strong wrists and hands that generate excellent bat speed, but it’s just as much about his understanding of a compact strike zone. It allows him to get into hitters’ counts and do damage once he does. If a pitcher keeps nibbling, he is also happy to take a walk. (Spring, 2017)

  • What he lacks in sheer size, he makes up for in strength in his forearms and wrists, creating leverage and generating pull-side backspin. He adds above-average speed, excellent reads and instincts in center field and an advanced plate approach.

    “He really knew how to play,” Brooklyn manager Tom Gamboa said in 2015. “There was no mistake, just with pure hitting ability, he might have the best swing that I’ve seen this year in the league.”

  • Andrew endeavors to keep the game simple.

    "I don’t think about much—just hit the ball hard, and wherever it goes, it goes. I don’t think I’m going to try to change my game," Benintendi said before 2016 spring training.

    “I describe myself as a gap-to-gap hitter . . . I’m just going up there trying to hit the ball hard . . . I’m not trying to hit home runs. It just happens.”

    He's able to make pitch-to-pitch adjustments that allowed him to stand out in pro ball.

    “I think I started to recognize how people pitch me—pitch sequences,” Benintendi said. “I learned that a lot (in 2015), so I tried to take that into (pro ball) and applied that. So far, it’s gone well.”

  • Despite his smallish 5-foot-10 size, Benintendi displays the ability to create consistent hard contact and loft in a way that allows him to drive the ball to all fields. He can hit opposite-field homers along with his pulled shots to right. Portland Manager Carlos Febles estimated one of those at 450 feet in July 2016.

    “I’m very, very, very surprised,” Febles said. “I never thought that a guy who’s 155 pounds would hit the ball that far and that hard.”

  • In 2019, Benintendi slashed .266/.343/.431 with 13 homers, 40 doubles and 68 RBIs.

  • Sept 13, 2021: Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi was nearly unstoppable at the plate, and was selected as the AL Player of the Week Award winner. 

    Benintendi batted .500 (14-for-28) and drove in an MLB-best 14 runs during his seven-game week. That was highlighted by his two-homer, five-RBI performance during a Royals 6-4 victory in Minnesota. It was the second time in three days that Benintendi had driven in five runs in a game.

    Benintendi is the second Royal to earn Player of the Week recognition this season. Catcher Salvador Perez was named the AL recipient for the week ending on Aug. 29. (B Murphy - MLB.com - Sept 13, 2021)

  • As of the start of the 2021 season, Andrew had a career batting average of .273 with 51 home runs and 260 RBI in 1,837 at-bats.
Fielding
  • Andrew is a legitimate center fielder with above-average-to-plus run times and excellent reads and instincts. He glides to the ball.

  • Benintendi plays center field with what seems to be an easy flow. It is impressive the way he reads the ball off the bat. His defense grades 60, while his arm is a big-league-average 50.

  • June 19, 2017: Andrew saved Boston's 6-5 win over Houston. With the bases loaded and the Red Sox leading 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Astros DH Carlos Beltran ripped an RBI single into left field, scoring Carlos Correa from third.  

    Trailing Correa closely was Jose Altuve from second base. Benintendi rifled a 91-mph, 237-foot outfield assist from left field, according to Statcast, which met Boston catcher Christian Vazquez's glove without a bounce and just in time to tag Altuve before the game was tied at 6.  

    "I put my head down and I didn't see anybody, coaches, anything. I just ran," Altuve said. "It was a close play, but at the end of the day, I was out. You know, this is frustrating for me because the game ended up a one-run difference, but you have to keep playing."  

    Vazquez explained the throw without as much deliberation: "It was perfect. Great throw." (Boutwell - mlb.com)

  • Dec. 21, 2018: Benintendi's diving catch that helped the Red Sox seal Game 4 of the ALCS was honored as the Associated Press Play of the Year across all sports.

    Benintendi's grab, which came with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in Houston, helped the Red Sox take a commanding 3-1 lead over the Astros. The next night, Boston finished off the series.

    GOLD GLOVER

  • In 2021, Adam won his first AL Rawlings Gold Glove for left field.
Running
  • Andrew's speed is rated a 55, an above-average runner. He makes an impact on the bases.

  • Benintendi has above-average speed that serves him well, though he needs to improve his technique and efficiency. In 2016 at Portland, he was caught stealing nearly half the time.
  • In 2017 and 2018 with the Red Sox, Benintendi stole 20 bases each season with a high success rate.
Career Injury Report
  • College: In his freshman year at the Univ. of Arkansas, Andrew broke a bone in his right hand. 

  • November 2016: The Red Sox sidelined him for most of the Instructional League while rehabbing a quadriceps injury.

  • August 25-Sept 13, 2016: Benintendi was on the D.L. with a left knee sprain. In a game against Tampa Bay, he tried to avoid a tag while running toward second base but was tagged out on a double play.

  • August 12-Oct 31, 2020:  Andrew not only fell down and was tagged out trying to go from first to third on an RBI single against the Rays, but he strained his right rib cage on the play and is on the 10-day injured list. He was moved to the 45-day list on Sept. 8.

  • June 13, 2021: Andrew was on the IL with a right rib fracture.