What has happened to Andrew Benintendi?
It’s not that long ago the 2015 Red Sox first-rounder seemed like a certain bet for stardom. Baseball America ranked him the No. 1 prospect in the game entering 2017, with scouts falling out of their chairs over his skill set.
At that time, one American League evaluator envisioned him as a center fielder who would win multiple batting titles, an eight- to 10-time All-Star whom he ranked alongside Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Mookie Betts as one of the best minor leaguers he’d seen.
“He’s a once-in-a-decade hitter,” said the scout.
A National League evaluator gave Benintendi an “80” grade as a hitter on the 20-80 scouting scale, and suggested he would regularly deliver 70-80 extra-base hits a year. Such projections didn’t seem out of place for a player who’d won every college award imaginable as a sophomore at Arkansas and was not fazed by blitzing to the big leagues in just over a year.