|Bats / Throws||Left / Left|
|Date of Birth||7/6/1994|
|Height, Weight||5'10", 170 lbs|
|Drafted||2015 - Rd 1|
Benintendi batted leadoff and went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Monday's spring game against the Twins.
Benintendi, who launched his solo home run on the second pitch of the game, is expected to be Boston's primary leadoff hitter in 2020, replacing the departed Mookie Betts. He served in that role to start the 2019 season, going 5-for-42 when leading off games, but 2020 is a different year. Thus far, Benintendi has hit safely in the two games in which he's led off a game.
Benintendi was mentioned alongside new teammate Alex Verdugo (oblique) by interim manager Ron Roenicke as a possible leadoff man following the trade of Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
Benintendi's career 109 wRC+ is nearly identical to Verdugo's 107 mark, though he managed a career-worst 100 wRC+ last season and may need to show signs of a bounceback if he's to win the competition. Even with Betts now in Los Angeles, the top of the Red Sox's order remains strong, and whoever becomes the leadoff hitter will get to bat in front of Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez.
Benintendi and the Red Sox avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $10 million deal Saturday, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports.
Benintendi won't reach free agency until 2023, so this deal doesn't extend his time in Boston. Instead, it simply means the two sides won't have to go through the arduous arbitration process either this year or the next. Benintendi will be looking to bounce back from a mediocre 2019 campaign which saw him hit .266/.343/.431 with 13 homers and 10 steals.