Boston Red Sox potential Rookie of the Year candidate Andrew Benintendi has been slumping since May 10th
When Andrew Benintendi broke into the majors last season, John Farrell knew he was looking at someone special. In the month of April, we saw more of Benintendi’s talent starting on Opening Day with a three run home run that got absolutely crushed to deep right field. From the moment it left the bat, everyone at Fenway knew that ball was gone.
The rookie started the month of May going 12/34 slashing a .353/2/8 line through the first eight games. All this after cruising through April with a .333/3/14 stat line. After starting May with four two plus hit games in his first eight games, he’s only had two two plus hit games.
In fact, since May 10th, Benintendi has not hit a single home run and has only 5 RBI’s. He’s also hitting .123 through those 19 games. Benintendi only has eight hits in his last 65 at bats including just one for extra bases. The only bright side over that stretch is his four stolen bases.
So what’s going on with Benintendi? He’s quickly gone from star rookie to a backup outfielder. Against lefties, he’s hitting just .258 with no home runs and two RBI’s. He strikes out in 13% of his at bats against lefties and it climbs to 17% against righties. Is this just something in his head or is there something else going on?
Everyone saw Jackie Bradley Jr. start off slow and has since heated up with a double, three homers and 10 RBI’s in his last six contests. Maybe it was just a really ugly slump. Benintendi was hitless in 26 straight at bats from May 10th until the 17th. His batting average has dropped down from .339 to .280. He received his second scheduled day off on May 18th this season for Benintendi.
What’s been the difference between the start of the season and now for Benintendi? I think people have made adjustments to the young outfielder. The Sox rookie will have to learn to make adjustments himself now especially since it’s clear opposing pitchers are changing their typical pitching styles to confuse the youngster.
Rookies tend to look fastball on a 2 – 0 count. That might be one of the slight tweaks he has to make going forward. He’s got power and pitchers have respect to those can make them look foolish. Benintendi’s still in fine shape for the season if he can make those changes soon. This will all come in time as the young outfielder is just 22 years old. He could get a two homer game tomorrow, you never know. One thing’s for sure, with his power, it’ll definitely happen during his career.
He’s done a great job so far and if he can heat up again there’s a chance for him to join the 20/20 club. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t get to down on himself. We’ll keep our eyes out for Benintendi to smack another ball to deep left which hopefully will lead to him getting back on track. He’ll get that chance against a righty tonight in Baltimore.
Photo Credit – Christopher Evans