The Kansas City Royals traded for Andrew Benintendi and while his numbers have dipped the past few years, a change of scenery could do wonders for him.
After an offseason filled with discussions about when the Kansas City Royals were going to land a left-handed bat, they did so in the biggest way, acquiring Andrew Benintendi from the Red Sox in a three-team trade. They sent Franchy Cordero and players to be named later to Boston while shipping top prospect Khalil Lee to the Mets.
Benintendi was the No. 7 overall pick in 2015 out of Arkansas and the Red Sox wasted no time in getting him to the big leagues, calling him up the next year. He hit .295 in year one and in his considered rookie season in 2017, he hit .271 with 20 home runs and 90 RBI, which helped him finish second in Rookie of the Year voting.
The offensive decline came in 2019 when he hit .266 (not terrible numbers, but a far cry from what he had been doing) and this past year was just awful for Benintendi, as he hit a mere .103 with no home runs and just one RBI through 52 plate appearances.
Boston clearly felt that Benintendi was regressing and for a huge organization like the Red Sox, they didn’t want to see it through with him. Going to a smaller organization like the Royals could really help jumpstart Benintendi’s career and get him back to what he was just a few short years ago. There won’t be the same kind of pressure on him in Kansas City, as they didn’t spend a first-round pick on him and don’t have those same kinds of expectations for him.
Andrew Benintendi has a chance to turn things around with the Kansas City Royals.
While the Red Sox were ready to be done for Benintendi, the Royals are excited about what he could bring to their young team. He’s just 26 years old and has two more years of club control and has played in a World Series (winning it in 2018). He has the kind of experience that the Royals really covet right now and that’s going to be invaluable.
Benintendi has had a great amount of success at Kauffman Stadium too, which is a plus (at least now it is), slashing .485/.564/.848 with seven extra-base hits through 39 plate appearances. He’s really beat up on the Royals in seasons past and now hopefully that production stays with him now that he’ll be playing there for half of the season.
The pressures of playing in Boston for a franchise like the Red Sox while also not really getting much time in the minor leagues could have contributed to why Benintendi’s numbers started to wan. The Royals are a much different animal than that of the Red Sox and hopefully, that allows Benintendi to relax a bit more and just have fun while also helping this team contend in 2021 and 2022.
If the Royals can get the best form of Andrew Benintendi, this trade will go down as one of the all-time best deals Dayton Moore has ever made.