Andrew Benintendi is a rookie with the Boston Red Sox. He has been compared to the legendary Fred Lynn but will not eclipse the former Red Sox great as the best ever rookie for the franchise.
He has not played badly, hitting .288 midway through the season, with 12 home runs and 50 runs batted. At just 22 years of age, he is playing in just his first full year in the majors.
He was called a reincarnated Freddy Lynn by Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon and many had already penciled his name in as Rookie of the Year, before the first pitch of the regular season.
However, in May Benintendi suffered through a drought of 0-for-26 then followed that with a slump of 1-for-23, which proves he is not immune to struggles that befall young players.
However, in Tuesday’s game Benintendi was able to remind everyone watching of what everyone was talking about at the start of the season. Benintendi was 5-for-5 with a pairs of home runs and 6 runs batted in.
He also made an excellent leaping catch at the left field wall. Boston won 11-4 over the Texas Rangers and has now won six straight games to build a lead of four games in the American League East over the second place New York Yankees. Boston has outscored its opponents 67-25 during its last eight games.
John Farrell the Boston manager said that Benintendi has had to make adjustments and has succeeded, as he went from using the entire field to more of a pull hitter, then had to readjust to go back to using the whole field. Farrell called Benintendi a very talented young player.
At the start of the season, Benintendi was batting No. 2 in the Red Sox order, but was moved to cleanup when they needed runs during May.
However on Tuesday he batted sixth against Yu Darvish the Rangers ace. Against left-handers he has played sparingly with Farrell replacing him with Chris young and Jackie Bradley Jr. against southpaws.
The better Benintendi gets at being able to recognize trends and make adjustments to them, the better he will hit.
His chances of winning rookie of the year are far less since Aaron Judge is hitting the cover off the ball, but Benintendi is thinking more about how he can help Boston to an AL East title and that currently seems to be working.