When the Red Sox picked Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi with the 7th pick in the MLB Draft on Monday, a lot of Red Sox Nation was left wondering “Why not Carson Fulmer?” The short answer to that question is this: Whoever the Red Sox picked wouldn’t make an immediate impact.
It’s important to remember that the MLB Draft is different than the NBA or NFL Drafts in that picks will not make an immediate impact. The selection of Andrew Benintendi was one for the future. Right now, the Red Sox have a surplus of outfielders, but it 2 or 3+ years, when this kid is ready to make the jump to the majors, who knows where the Red Sox will be with their outfield situation. The only 3 guys locked up long term are Hanley Ramirez, Rusney Castillo and Allen Craig. The issue with Craig is he hasn’t been performing up to what we expected when we got him, so who knows if we’ll actually keep him through 2017, which is when he’s under contract until. And Jackie Bradley Jr. has a great glove, but a bad bat, but I could see him being used as trade bait to bring in some rotation help.
Now to Benintendi himself – he has the tools to be great. He burst on to the scene this year, after he struggled with injuries last year, according to Bleacher Report. His draft profile rates him at a 60 with hitting, 50 with power and fielding, and a 60 with his arm. He put up a .390 average, 18 home runs, 13 doubles, 54 RBI’s, and 22 stolen bases with Arkansas this past season as part of a run that led him to the SEC and National Player of the Year awards. The kid has the tools to be a star, and the Red Sox see that. Besides, the team has so many holes at the moment that it’s hard to nail down one particular area of need.
It’s hard to see how this guy is going to perform 2-3 years down the road when he’s ready to come up to the majors, but I like the pick. I just hope he proves me right.