After showing a pretty consistent trend of progression over his first two full seasons in Major League Baseball, Andrew Benintendi has not taken the leap forward in 2019 that many thought he was capable of.
The Boston Red Sox left fielder competed for a Gold Glove last season and batted .290 with 16 home runs and 87 RBI’s. After showing moderate success in limited looks as a leadoff hitter in 2018 (.322 average, 5 home runs, 15 RBI’s in 21 games), manager Alex Cora decided to give Benintendi that spot full-time heading into the new season, swapping reigning MVP Mookie Betts down to the No. 2 spot.
That move did not pay off and did not last long — Benintendi batted .081 leading games off and was hitting .267 in the top spot overall.
Benintendi was shifted back to second in the order, and since has been swapped out in favor of the scorching hot Rafael Devers.
The 25-year-old outfielder is batting .268 with seven home runs, and has not looked very comfortable at the plate, owning up to it with Barstool Sports’ Jared Carrabis on the “Section 10 Podcast.”
“I mean, it’s a been frustrating year for me personally, I feel like I haven’t been in a flow at all,” Benintendi said. “Devers goes in there, and obviously Devers, I don’t know how he wasn’t an All-Star, he’s a top-two third baseman in the league. He comes up there and goes 7-for-9, so I’m like ‘okay, he’s probably going to stick there for a little bit.’ And then he keeps hitting. Nothing really changes for me, it’s just going up there, maybe there is a situation where I just have to drive in a run, hit a ground ball, so it’s whatever, it doesn’t really matter to me.”
Benintendi actually was showing some life in the two spot, hitting .303 in 25 games, but Devers has been tearing the cover off the ball, leaving the left fielder fifth or sixth in the lineup most nights.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images