Red Sox promote Benintendi to Double-A

MLB.com's No. 22 overall prospect put together 23-game hit streak

Andrew Benintendi leads the Carolina League in hits, extra-base hits and total bases. (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

By Michael Peng / MiLB.com | May 15, 2016 10:03 PM

Andrew Benintendi, who ranks among the Carolina League leaders in virtually every offensive category, was promoted to Double-A Portland following Sunday's game, according to the Salem Red Sox.

The move came 11 months after the Boston Red Sox selected the University of Arkansas product with the seventh overall pick in the Draft.

Benintendi began his first full Minor League season with a four-hit game on Opening Day and hasn't cooled off. Boston's No. 3 prospect compiled a Minor League season-high 23-game hitting streak from April 10 to May 6 and was a key cog in a prospect-laden lineup that's helped Salem post a .722 winning percentage that currently tops the Minors. The Red Sox share that designation with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks.

"Over those games and even when I didn't get a hit, I stuck with my approach and that was just to hit the ball hard," Benintendi told MiLB.com last week. "Usually when you hit it hard, good things happen. Over that stretch, I think I was hitting a lot of balls hard and not giving up too many at-bats."

The 21-year-old outfielder heads to the Eastern League with a .341/.413/.563 slash line, 32 RBIs and 30 runs scored in 34 games. He leads the Carolina League in hits (46), extra-base hits (21), triples (seven) and total bases (76), ranks second in slugging percentage, RBIs and doubles (13), third in runs scored and fourth in batting and on-base percentage. Benintendi also drew 17 walks with nine strikeouts in 135 at-bats.

"This year especially I've been more aggressive and really haven't been getting into too many two-strike counts," he said. "But when I do get to a two-strike count, I try to shorten up and just put the ball in play. If a pitcher makes a good pitch, I just try to foul it off and just wait 'til he makes a mistake."

Benintendi will part ways for now with four of Boston's top 30 prospects in Salem -- including No. 1 Yoan Moncada and No. 2 Rafael Devers -- and join a Portland lineup that features No. 18 Wendell Rijo and No. 23 Henry Ramos.

The Sea Dogs are 13-25 so far on the season and will be home to start a three-game series against New Hampshire on Monday.

Michael Peng is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelXPeng This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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