Baseball America is considered on of the top guides for information on developing players, so its top 100 prospects list is highly anticipated every year. For 2017, the list was topped off by an outfielder for the Red Sox organization — Andrew Benintendi.
In 97 minor league games last year split between A+ Salem and AA Portland, the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft had a .312/.378/532 batting line. That was good enough to get him a call up with the big league club in September. While in Boston, he put up a very respectable .295/.359/.476 in 118 plate appearances over the course of 34 games.
Throughout most of his minor league career, Benintendi played center field and is certainly athletic enough to cover the ground needed for someone in that position. But in all but five of his major league appearances, he was put in left field — home of the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
Some people might remember all the discussion about how hard it is to play left at Fenway when Hanley Ramirez made the transition to in front of the Monster. You have all the normal trappings of left field, but then you have to deal with all the angels of the darn corner and, of course, learning how to play balls off the 37 foot wall. Fortunately, Benintendi already has outfield experience and seemed to handle the transition well last year.
Interestingly enough, the Red Sox would have also had the second best prospect — Yoan Moncada — but they traded him to the White Sox in the off season for pitcher Chris Sale. This goes to show that the scouting and player development departments for Boston have been doing something right recently.