SoxProspects News

August 16, 2015 at 9:33 PM

BREAKING: Andrew Benintendi promoted to Greenville


According to SoxProspects.com sources, Lowell Spinners outfielder Andrew Benintendi, the seventh-overall pick in this year's draft and the eighth-ranked prospect on the SoxProspects.com rankings, is being promoted to Greenville and could join the Drive as early as Monday. UPDATE: According to sources, Drive outfielder Mike Meyers will be promoted to Salem to make room.

With the New York-Penn League entering its All-Star Break, the center fielder out of the University of Arkansas will bid the circuit adieu. As of press time, league leaderboards show Benintendi leading the league with his .948 OPS, as well as ranking ninth in average, fifth in on-base percentage, and second in slugging with his .298/.416/.554 slash line. He is also tied with teammate Luis Alexander Basabe for third in the league with seven home runs.

This comes despite a short adjustment period for Benintendi, who had never hit with wooden bats, before a four-day break to accept the Golden Spikes Award, one of four national collegiate player of the year honors he earned as a sophomore for the Razorbacks this spring. Not including Sunday's games, since returning to the Spinners on July 15, Benintendi hit .323/.443/.624 in 27 games with six home runs and six stolen bases, showing quite clearly that he was ready for the South Atlantic League. Benintendi also reached base safely in all but five of his 36 games with the Spinners.

In a recent edition of The Write-Up, our Chaz Fiorino projected Benintendi as a future everyday major league center fielder with plus bat speed in an explosive, controlled swing from the left side. He also noted the native Ohioan's smooth, athletic defensive actions in center as well as his potential to steal bases at the major league level with his above-average speed.

The Red Sox selected Benintendi with the seventh pick in this year's draft after he shot up draft boards this spring, with many clubs not even realizing until the season had started that he was a draft-eligible sophomore. Our own Matt Huegel recently caught up with Benintendi in Lowell, and the outfielder credited a summer working on strength and rehabbing a quad injury to his increased sophomore production. As a freshman, Benintendi hit .276/.368/.333 with just a single home run and 17 steals for the Razorbacks. This year, he tallied 20 home runs to lead all of Division I and hit .376/.488/.717 to go along with 24 steals, garnering many accolades, including four national player of the year awards such as the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy.

Meyers, a 12th-round pick in the 2012 draft out of high school in Nevada, has had a strong season for the Drive. After battling injuries and working through a position change from second base to the outfield (primarily playing left field), Meyers has produced in regular playing time, entering Sunday with a .295/.364/.426 line with five home runs and 12 steals in 92 games. Meyers has some feel for hitting and some pop, especially to the pull side. He has limited experience in the outfield, and his limited defensive profile, likely keeping him in left, will put a lot of pressure on his bat as he moves up the ladder. He possesses an average arm and average speed.

With the addition of Benintendi, the Drive lineup would now boast half of the eight top-rated prospects in the system, according to SoxProspects.com. Benintendi joins third baseman Rafael Devers (#1), second baseman Yoan Moncada (#2), shortstop Javier Guerra (#5), third baseman Michael Chavis (#13), and first baseman/right fielder Nick Longhi (#19) to form what may be the most exciting lineup in the minor leagues right now, and possibly the most talented group the Red Sox system has seen in years. Benintendi will also rejoin former Arkansas teammates in Jalen Beeks and Michael Gunn.

 
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