KC Royals: 3 overperformers through the midpoint

(Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals, Andrew Benintendi
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Andrew Benintendi has performed well since being traded to the KC Royals.

So far, it’s clear that Kansas City won the Andrew Benintendi trade. While Boston sent Franchy Cordero down to Triple-A in May, and the Mets optioned Khalil Lee, who the Royals sent to the Mets as part of the three-team Benintendi deal, for the second time a few days later, Benintendi has been racking up hits for his new squad.

Benintendi’s .266 2019 campaign, and his injury-shortened, lackluster .103 performance in 2019, meant many didn’t expect much from him this season. And he started slowly with a quiet April, slashing just .225/.311/.313. But he got out of the slump with a fantastic May, when he slashed .340/.377/.443. Overall, Benintendi’s slashing .275/.327/.434 with a .761 OPS.

His 10 home runs rank third on the team, and he has 35 RBIs, 19 walks, and seven stolen bases.

Benintendi was a key part of the Royals’ lineup when a rib fracture forced him to the Injured List in mid-June. The injury coincided with Kansas City’s downward spiral in June—the Royals went 5-13 when he was missing from the lineup. Manager Mike Matheny acknowledged Benintendi’s value and the impact of his absence, telling mlb.com Royals beat writer Anne Rogers that his being on the IL was, “Not ideal,” and the left fielder was “One of the bright spots we’ve had on the offense. He’s been taking as good of at-bats as anybody.”

And his taking care of his at-bats is one of the reasons Benintendi has been a formidable replacement for Alex Gordon in left field this season, and quieted many doubters.