|Kansas City Royals – No. 16|
|Born: July 6, 1994|
|August 2, 2016, for the Boston Red Sox|
|MLB statistics |
(through July 26, 2021)
|Runs batted in||298|
|Career highlights and awards|
Andrew Sebastian Benintendi (born July 6, 1994), nicknamed "Benny", is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB for the Boston Red Sox from 2016 through 2020.
Benintendi played college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks of the University of Arkansas. The Red Sox selected Benintendi in the first round of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, and he made his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2016. Listed at 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) and 170 pounds (77 kg), he bats and throws left-handed.
Benintendi attended Madeira High School in Madeira, Ohio. As a senior, he batted .564 with 12 home runs, 57 runs batted in (RBIs), and 38 stolen bases for the Mustangs baseball team, and was the ABCA/Rawlings National High School Player of the Year and Ohio Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. He finished his high school career with an Ohio-record 199 career runs scored. He also played high school basketball, earning 2011–12 Cincinnati Enquirer Division III Co-Player of the Year honors and setting school records in career points (1,753) and season points (638), career 3-pointers (180), and points per game in a season (25.5). Benintendi was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 31st round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft, but he did not sign.
Benintendi enrolled at the University of Arkansas to play college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team. As a true freshman, he played in 61 games, with 60 starts and hit .276/.368/.333 with one home run and 27 RBI.
In 2015, Benintendi led the Southeastern Conference in batting average (.380), home runs (19), on-base percentage (.489), slugging percentage (.715), and walks (47). He was named the SEC Player of the Year. He also won the Baseball America College Player of the Year Award, the Dick Howser Trophy, and the Golden Spikes Award. Benintendi was considered one of the top prospects for the 2015 Major League Baseball draft.
Boston Red Sox
Benintendi was drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the seventh overall selection in the 2015 Major League Baseball draft. He signed with the Red Sox, receiving a $3.6 million signing bonus. Benintendi made his professional debut with the Lowell Spinners of the Class A-Short Season New York–Penn League. Andrew finished the 2015 season playing 19 games for the Class A Greenville Drive going 26/74 (.351) and posting an OPS of 1.011. He began the 2016 season with the Salem Red Sox of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League, and received a promotion to the Portland Sea Dogs of the Class AA Eastern League on May 15.
The Red Sox promoted Benintendi to the major leagues on August 2, 2016, straight from Double-A, only 421 days after being selected in the draft. He made his major league debut on August 2, against the Seattle Mariners as a pinch hitter, and recorded his first major league hit off of Hisashi Iwakuma on August 3. Benintendi recorded both his first major league triple and home run against the Detroit Tigers on August 21 in a 10–5 loss.
On October 6, in Game 1 of the 2016 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, Benintendi hit a home run in his first postseason at bat, off of Indians' pitcher Trevor Bauer. With the feat, Benintendi became the youngest Red Sox player to hit a home run in a postseason game. However, the Indians won the game by a score of 5–4 and swept the series in three games. Benintendi ended the 2016 season with a .295 batting average, 31 hits, 14 RBIs, two home runs, and one stolen base in 34 games played.
Benintendi started the 2017 season as part of the Red Sox' Opening Day roster, batting second as Boston defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 5–3. On July 4, against the Texas Rangers, Benintendi went 5-for-5 with 6 RBIs, two home runs, and a double in the 11–4 victory. He finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, despite receiving no first-place votes due to Aaron Judge winning unanimously. Overall, during the 2017 Red Sox regular season, Benintendi batted .271 with 20 home runs, 90 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 151 games played. In the ALDS against the eventual World Series champions, the Houston Astros, he batted .250 (4-for-16) with a home run and two RBIs in four games.
For the 2018 Red Sox, Benintendi was again on the Opening Day roster. Through the first half of the season, he was the team's regular left fielder, usually batting second, behind Mookie Betts. On July 8, Benintendi was named as a candidate in the American League's All-Star Final Vote, for a spot in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. At that point in the season, Benintendi had a slash line of .293/.379/.515 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs. In the Final Vote, fans selected Jean Segura of the Seattle Mariners. For the season Benintendi appeared in 148 games hitting .290 with 41 doubles, 103 runs scored, 16 home runs and 87 RBIs and stealing 21 bases. In the 2018 MLB playoffs, Benintendi recorded the final outs to seal victories for the Red Sox in Games 4 and 5 of the 2018 American League Championship Series, the first of the two a diving effort to prevent a bases-loaded hit in a two-run game. The Red Sox won the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving Benintendi his first championship title. In the World Series Benintendi had 4 hits in Game 1 and hit .333 in the Fall Classic.
Benintendi began the 2019 season as Boston's regular left fielder. Manager Alex Cora initially made him the team's leadoff hitter, until the start of June when Cora moved Benintendi to second in the order, with Mookie Betts batting first, as was the team's usual order in 2018. On June 11, he was ejected, for the first time in his MLB career, for a comment he made about the home plate umpire (Ángel Hernández) that was heard by the first base umpire (Vic Carapazza). For the season, Benintendi appeared in 138 games, batting .266 with 40 doubles, 13 home runs and 68 RBIs.
On February 8, 2020, the Red Sox announced signing Benintendi to a two-year, $10 million deal. On July 29, he recorded the 500th hit of his major league career, a ground rule double off of New York Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia. Benintendi was placed on the 10-day injured list on August 12, with a right rib cage strain. Benintendi's 2020 campaign came to an end on September 8, after being transferred to the 45-day injury list. With the 2020 Red Sox, Benintendi was 4-for-39 at the plate (.103) with one RBI.
Kansas City Royals
On February 10, 2021, the Red Sox traded Benintendi and cash considerations to the Kansas City Royals as part of a three-team trade in which the Red Sox acquired Franchy Cordero, Josh Winckowski, and three players to be named later (identified in June as minor league prospects: outfielder Freddy Valdez from the Mets, and pitchers Grant Gambrell and Luis De La Rosa from the Royals) while the New York Mets received Khalil Lee.
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