Red Sox officially sign first-round pick Andrew Benintendi

Ryan Hannable
June 30, 2015 - 2:56 pm
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The Red Sox announced they have officially signed first-round and No. 7 overall pick, center fielder Andrew Benintendi. According to a source, he signed for the slot value of $3,590,400 first reported by MLB.com's Jim Callis. He will begin his professional career with short-season, Single-A Lowell. Benintendi won the 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes award, which goes to the top amateur baseball player in the country. As a sophomore he hit .376 and ranked third in the nation in slugging percentage (.717). He led the country in home runs with 19 and was the only college baseball player to record 20 home runs and 20-plus stolen bases this year. In the clean-up spot, he generated 85 hits, 57 RBIs and placed third in total bases (162). "It was a good feeling not just for me, but for Arkansas and all the people that helped me to get to that point," Benintendi said to WEEI.com in Lowell before the signing became official on winning the Golden Spikes award. His Arkansas team made it to the College World Series before falling to Miami. The Razorbacks went 40-25 overall on the year. "It was a great experience playing in front of 25,000 [people]," Benintendi said of playing in the College World Series. "Sharing that was my teammates because we worked so hard to get to that point. Definitely a great experience." As a freshman, the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder had a slash line of .276/.368/.333 with one home run and 27 RBIs, but really took things to a new level for his sophomore season. The biggest difference he said was putting on 15 pounds of muscle going into the year. "I knew what to expect going into this year from my freshman year," he said. "I think I prepared well and it paid off." The 20-year-old admitted he was a little surprised at the attention he received from scouts this past season and that the Red Sox were the team involved the most, so he wasn't surprised when his name was called at No. 7. He visited Fenway Park last Thursday and watched the Red Sox take on the Orioles from behind home plate. It was his first time visiting the park. "It was a great experience," he said. "That stadium has a lot of history so seeing that in person was pretty cool." "Top-notch," he added of his experience. "Coming here, great guys all around. I am very happy to be here."

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