Andrew Benintendi modified teams, but he didn’t switch hotels. As of Friday, he still was staying with the Royals, and the outfielder frolicked together with his suddenly former teammates after his latest club, the Yankees, beat them Thursday.
The scene was never stranger than within the immediate moments after the baseball world learned Benintendi had been traded to the Yankees on Wednesday night, on the eve of the 2 clubs starting a series in The Bronx. He and a couple of teammates had agreed to satisfy in a single room to play cards, but they retreated first to their individual rooms. Their phones began buzzing.
“Benny told us how every thing went down,” Kansas City utility man Hunter Dozier said before the Yankees topped the Royals 11-5 on Friday in The Bronx. “Then we just frolicked and played cards like normal.”
Based on Benintendi’s former team, the Yankees have struck gold in acquiring an outfielder with excellent contact skills within the midst of one in every of his best seasons.
Andrew Benintendi hits an RBI single within the eighth inning of the Yankees’ 11-5 comeback win over the Royals.Jason Szenes
The 28-year-old, who had an RBI on an infield single within the Yankees’ eight-run eighth inning and finished 1-for-3 with a walk Friday, hit .320 and posted a .387 on-base percentage in 93 games with Kansas City.
“We might joke around saying each day, Benny’s going to get two hits and a walk at the least,” Dozier said of his teammate of 1 and a half seasons. “He just has been very consistent this yr. Finding hits, getting walks, playing really good defense. It’s been impressive to observe him play.”
One downside for the Yankees is Benintendi’s unvaccinated status, which kept him from playing a series in Toronto earlier this season. The lefty hitter, who essentially is replacing Joey Gallo, said Thursday he’s staying “open-minded” in regards to the vaccine. The Yankees travel to Toronto for a series in September, and a postseason series against the Blue Jays is a possibility.
One other downside is Benintendi’s lack of power. He hit three home runs this season before the trade a yr after he slugged 17.
Based on Statcast, his home run total could be doubled to 6 if he had played all his games in The Bronx this yr.
“He’s a man that may do every thing,” said Royals second baseman and right fielder Whit Merrifield. “I do know that his power numbers aren’t there, but he [was] playing in the largest and hardest park to hit a house run in, in baseball.
“He can sprint, he can steal bases [four with the Royals], he can hit for average, he can hit for power. They got a whole, well-rounded hitter, defender and just an excellent teammate. It’s a slam dunk for any team that went out and got him.”
Benintendi spent his first five major league seasons with the Red Sox, with whom he won the World Series in 2018. Through the postseason that yr, he excelled against the Yankees within the ALDS, posting a .444 on-base percentage in a series Boston won in 4 games.
In 21 profession playoff games, Benintendi has a .729 OPS.
“The experience of getting been in that situation helps,” said Royals outfielder Michael A. Taylor, who won the World Series with the Nationals in 2019. “He knows what to anticipate on and off the sector because there’s lots of media and things like that within the playoffs and the World Series.”
The consensus from several who know Benintendi best was that he’s each a relaxed and easy-going person away from the sector and a hard-nosed competitor on it.
“He’s a man that’s going to slot in in any clubhouse because he works hard. He’s quiet. He’s an excellent guy.”