The Red Sox have some sort of pattern when it comes to player development.
They let the bat develop first and when players hit the upper minors, usually Triple-A, then they start exposing said player to new positions. It’s the versatility they look for at the top level. Well, in Double-A, the Red Sox did the same with Andrew Benintendi last night.
The seventh overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft made his pro debut in left field last night as his Portland Sea Dogs took on the Binghamton Mets at home (Hadlock Field). What’s so special about Hadlock, one might ask? Well, anyone who has been there understands there is a replica of the Green Monster in left field. Yes, the Maine Monster. Fluor Field (Greenville Drive home field (Red Sox Low-A minor league affiliate)) has a “mini” Green Monster. But this Maine Monster is the closest anyone will find at the minor league level.
This could be an indication the Red Sox are seriously looking at Benintendi as a candidate to play left field in the big leagues full-time. If they just wanted to make him a little more versatile, they would have exposed it to him in Triple-A. But McCoy Stadium, where the Pawtucket Red Sox play, does not have any unique field dimensions to it — other than the raised stands in foul territory. But hey, a new sport came of it.
It does not guarantee it — and it still does not seem too likely — but this does increase the chances of a Benintendi call-up to Boston this season. He’s hit .280 with an .822 OPS in 55 games in Double-A thus far and he’s not scorching at the plate right now, so take that for what it is: hot at times and cold at others.
Perhaps the Red Sox do see Benintendi as their future left fielder though.