Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington: 'It was obvious' for Red Sox to take Arkansas OF Andrew Benintendi No. 7 overall

Ryan Hannable
June 08, 2015 - 7:46 pm
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With the No. 7 overall pick in the MLB draft, it was a big deal for the Red Sox organization, as it's not very often they will have such a high pick -- it was the third time in 48 years they had a top 10 pick. Even with how important of a selection it was, the Red Sox had no doubts when they selected Arkansas outfielder and left-handed hitting Andrew Benintendi Monday night in the first-round of the 2015 MLB draft. "Despite only two years of college baseball, there'€™s quite a bit of history that we have with him going back to high school and he'€™s someone who'€™s always played at the highest level of competition that'€™s been available to him, whether it'€™s been in high school or college and put that together with his performance, his physical skills and getting to know him as a person as we were able to do this spring, just throw it all together and when it got time to our pick at 7, he was the top player on the board, it was obvious who we were taking," general manager Ben Cherington said on a conference call. "We'€™re really excited to take him." Benintendi broke out as a college sophomore, hitting .380 with 19 homers and 23 stolen bases while leading the Razorbacks to the College World Series this week. Prior to this season, he wasn't on many team's draft boards. The 20-year-old was excited to be selected by the Red Sox. "€œObviously it'€™s a great organization and they'€™ve got great history," he said. "Growing up I was a big red sox fan and I looked up to Dustin Pedroia, obviously not the biggest guy but the way he competes and the way he works, it'€™s motivating for me. Being picked, it was extremely exciting. my family was here, my mom, and dad and two sisters. I put in a lot of hard work to get to this point. It'€™s starting to pay off and definitely have a lot more work to do, but I'€™m extremely excited and it'€™s going to be exciting to start."€ The center fielder was drafted two years ago by the Reds, but didn't sign. The Red Sox had contact with him then too, so they have known him for awhile and kept tabs on him ever since he didn't sign. He really got their attention again this year, as he was named the SEC's Player of the Year. As for what they hope to get out of him, director of amateur scouting Mike Rikard seeings him having a top of the order type bat. "As far as the player and his toolset, we think Andrew is a very well rounded player," Rikard said. "There are so many things we like about him, he'€™s very athletic, he can run, he can play center field, we see him eventually as a top of the order type of bat."