Andrew Benintendi is getting his big-league chance much earlier than than most prospects. The former Arkansas baseball star is set to join the Boston Red Sox in Seattle on Tuesday, per BostonHerald.com.
Just one year removed from his draft selection, the 22-year-old outfielder has been hitting .295 with nine home runs and 76 RBIs for Double-A Portland, and will completely skip Triple-A Pawtucket en route to the bigs.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the team decided it would rather call up Benintendi than trade for a veteran at yesterday’s deadline (via the Herald):
We looked at some possible alternatives to help us in left field. We thought some of them were good choices, but we also thought the cost for some of those were quite high. We also weighed that versus what we thought the availability of being ready for Benintendi would be. And our people kept coming up and saying, ‘We think he can play at the big league level and we think he’s ready.’
Benintendi was named the Baseball American College Player of the Year and the SEC Male Athlete of the Year in 2015 following a sophomore season in which he posted a .376 batting average, .488 on-base percentage and .717 slugging percentage to go with 20 homers and 57 RBIs.
Boston made the Cincinnati-area native its first-round pick last June.
So grateful to everyone in the @PortlandSeaDogs organization for all the support, can't thank you enough!
— Andrew Benintendi (@asben16) August 2, 2016