When Andrew Benintendi told his family to catch his game, he thought they’d be seeing him play a couple innings and get an at bat at the end of the game (sounds like me in my summer league).
Instead, when he walked into the clubhouse at Jet Blue Park, he saw his name penciled into the starting lineup.
“It was a dream come true,” Benintendi said.
His team was there for him too; fellow outfielder Mookie Betts gave him a pep talk–and it seemed to work as he went 1-2 in the game with a single to left and a pop up to right. Teammate Dustin Pedroia offered some positive affirmation for the young player after the game.
“He looked good,” Pedroia said. “He looked like he was controlling his at-bats. That’s pretty good for a young guy when you see him control the count, have an approach and get a base hit. Then he just got underneath the ball. But he looked great out there.”
Benintendi is in an interesting spot as a prospect. He’s around the same stage of development as Yoan Moncada, and a bit older, but it’s Moncada who steals the show (sometimes literally on the basepaths). The 5’10”, solidly built, Benintendi shouldn’t be overlooked though as he demonstrates a compact yet powerful swing along with steady defense.
I mean, at 20 years old he did hit .313 with 13 homers in just 54 games this past year–that’s pretty damn good and gives us goosebumps as to what he can do next.
He may not be the next Mookie Betts, but the combo of him, Mookie, and JBJ in a couple years very well could be lethal and one of the most dangerous outfields in the MLB–homegrown and otherwise.
Don’t look Benintendi over–he’s an exciting kid and worth following, hopefully he’ll make his debut in Fenway sooner rather than later.