Former Boston Red Sox outfielder and 2018 World Series champion Andrew Benintendi was given a fresh, clean slate with the Chicago White Sox this past offseason.
After crossing enemy lines and joining the New York Yankees through a trade from the Kansas City Royals last season, Benintendi signed a five-year, $75 million deal with the White Sox back in December. This, of course, comes off the back of Benintendi’s first-career All-Star game appearance.
But before debuting alongside Chicago’s South Side squad, Benintendi noted a few adjustments he worked on during the offseason.
“This offseason more than others, I’ve really focused on my swing path,” Benintendi said, according to James Fegan of The Atheltic. “The last two years I’ve hit a lot of groundballs to the right side. I’ve been flipping the barrel instead of just staying through it, so we’ve been working on that a lot this offseason.”
Benintendi batted .304/.373/.399 in 126 games split between the Royals and Yankees, hitting five home runs and 23 doubles with 51 RBIs. But when Benintendi arrived in New York, the left-handed hitter underwent a massive slump, hitting just .262 over the course of the last 28 games played with the pinstripes.
But in joining the White Sox this upcoming season, Benintendi can certainly provide a much-needed boost to a lineup and team that missed the postseason last year. White Sox hitters, throughout the season, struggled at the plate against right-handed pitchers, batting .251/.303/.375 in 4,399 total at-bats.
Benintendi on the other hand, hit .318/.384/.428 with 20 doubles when facing righty’s in the batter’s box through 327 of his 461 total at-bats — which should certainly improve Chicago’s linuep in 2023.
“Last year, that’s the player I am,” Benintendi said. “… I’m still trying to hit line drives all over the place. But it’s just having the correct path instead of topspinning one to right, backspinning it to right so that it carries better. I just want to be able to know that if I make a swing on an inside pitch, that it’s not going to be a rollover everytime like it was in ’19, ’20 and ’21.”