2019 Projection: Why Andrew Benintendi Should Be Viewed As An Elite Outfielder

7
1110

Has Andrew Benintendi emerged as one of the elite outfielders?  He’s not there yet…  Yet is the key word, as when you look at his 2018 performance and dig into the upside potential it’s easy to envision him taking the next step forward in his development:

579 At Bats
.290 Batting Average (168 Hits)
16 Home Runs
87 RBI
103 Runs
21 Stolen Bases
.366 On Base Percentage
.465 Slugging Percentage
.328 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Those are solid numbers, but he should get even better with 2019 being the tipping point towards becoming one of the elite and a true five-category performer.  Let’s take a look:

Power
He took a step back in terms of his home run total, after hitting 20 HR in ’17.  He did add 41 doubles last season and will turn 25-years old in July, so it’s easy to envision him adding a few more home runs with some of those doubles finding their way over the Fenway Park fences.

As it is he showed signs of what was possible in the first half, as he hit 14 HR over 350 AB.  His 12.7% HR/FB wouldn’t raise any eyebrows and would only show modest growth over his 11.2% overall mark in 2017.  Just maintaining the first half mark would lead to a 25ish home run campaign (he only hit 2 HR in the second half last season), but it’s not impossible that he takes another step forward.

Average
Obviously an improvement in his power would help an already strong average, and wile a 28.0% Hard% isn’t an ideal number the rest of his skills scream of a .300+ hitter:

  • SwStr% – 7.6%
  • O-Swing% – 28.4%
  • Oppo% – 28.2%

Benintendi brings a strong approach and a willingness to use the entire field, which eliminates the threat of the shift impacting him significantly.  His Hard% was consistently poor all season long, though he was hitting line drives (23.8%) and he has the speed to continue to maintain an elevated BABIP.

At the very least Benintendi should maintain last year’s mark, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him post a .300+ campaign.

Speed
He’s stolen at least 20 bases in back-to-back seasons, after having 17 SB between High-A, Double-A and the Majors in ’16.  He should contribute 15+ SB, but crossing the 20 SB threshold is likely.

You put that all together for a player who hits near the top of a loaded lineup and saw his performance improve against southpaws (.247/.301/.393), though he could still sit against more difficult ones, and you get the following:

2019 Projection
.296 (170-550), 24 HR, 95 RBI, 95 R, 23 SB, .326 BABIP, .374 OBP, .499 SLG

With the potential for even more power and a .300+ average, Benintendi brings the entire package.  It’s easy to envision him as a Top 10 outfielder and a Top 20 player this season, so at his current third round ADP (30.21 in NFBC formats) he’s a must target.

Sources – Fangraphs, NFBC

7 COMMENTS

    • What 20/20 player who bats .300 are you getting later in drafts? Plus Bentendi will have good counting stats as well. Face it there’s nothing bad about Bentendi

      • You mean 16/20/.290? I’m not saying he’s bad.. im saying he isnt elite.. if chasing those precious stolen bases is that important, draft away.. Starling Marte provides the same with more stolen bases.. Scooter Gennett, Castellanos, going 2-3 rounds later provide better numbers outside of stolen bases. Draft David Peralta and Lorenzo Cain and you effectively had 2 Benintendis in 2018.. and much later in the draft

        • Those guys are all good, solid players, but they have no chance of going .300/20/20/100/100, and while Benintendi isn’t a lock to get there is it impossible?

  1. I just traded Benny for pick 3 in my strato league. He hasnt been able to hit lefties since he’s been up. His BABIP doesnt give much hope for improvement either. He’s basically a glorified platoon player until he learns to hit lefties. .694 OPS vs lefties last year…. Eeek. Thats what will make him elite if he learns how to hit lefties.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here