Andrew Benintendi just missed out on winning the Rookie of the Year award for the Red Sox this season. But, could bigger things be coming in 2018?
If not for the historic season from Aaron Judge, Andre Benintendi would have captured R.O.Y honors after his impressive .271/20 HR/90 RBI/84 R/.776 OPS line. He was great in his first full season for the Red Sox, but could even bigger things be coming next season?
Benintendi flew through the minors thanks to his advanced bat skill. That skill transitioned well across his career high 658 at-bats in 2017, as his .274 AVG further proves so. He notched 26 doubles as well, and his 112 K/70 BB ratio demonstrates what made him such a lauded prospect.
Digger deeper into his batted ball data, things get even better. He posted 22% LD, 40% GB,38% FB, 49% Med, and 34% Hard Contact rates. For a rookie, those rates are encouraging, but leave room for improvement as well. Benintendi runs well, evidenced by his 20 steals, but if he cold cut the GB rate some and improve the LD rate, the power will climb.
Benintendi was one of only six players last season to post 20 HR/20 SB, and only one of four in that group to do so with an AVG over .270.
The scary part about Benintendi’s season is that his counting stats were somewhat limited as the Red Sox lacked depth in their lineup, nor had a huge power threat in the middle of the order. Boston will surely add pieces to the lineup this offseason, only furthering the chances he could be in for a monster season.
While Benintendi has a ton of positives in his game, there are areas that he can improve as well. Like most rookie hitters, he struggled against lefties, posting a .232/1 HR/19 RBI/.622 OPS line against them.
He also alternated good and bad months over the course of the six-month season, which showed a lack of consistency for fantasy owners. Part of that is due to him adjusting to playing in a career-high 151 games and adjusting to the big league grind.
The struggles against lefties are the most concerning, as he can be exposed, and the Red Sox were not shy about sitting him versus them last season. That skill should be improved as he spends more time in the league, he was an accomplished hitter versus lefties in the minors after all, so it is easy to see where even a slight improvement could come.
Consistency will come as he is now acclimated to a full big league and has a better understanding of its rigors. The Red Sox will improve their lineup before the start of 2018, offering Benintendi the opportunity to continue what he is doing now, but with even better-supporting stats.
Andrew Benintendi looks to be a perennial .280/25 HR/90 RBI/20 SB threat for the foreseeable future. With already solid batted ball data, and a team that will help him continue his fantasy success, it is easy to see why he should only improve next season.
He is already a player to target within the first two rounds of fantasy drafts in 2018.