After excellent 2017 and 2018 regular seasons, the second of which helped propel Boston to a World Series title, Andrew Benintendi suffered a noticeable decrease in production over the 2019-2020 campaigns. He batted a combined .255 during that span, and played only 14 games last year due to a ribcage strain. When a trade brought him to the KC Royals last winter, Benintendi undoubtedly wanted to prove he was still a formidable offensive force.
But, after a subpar spring training and weak April, it looked like Benintendi might not be the strong left-handed bat the Royals sought all winter. He didn’t homer all spring and batted only .225, then hit for the very same average in April.
May, though, seemed to vindicate Kansas City’s decision to acquire Benintendi. He slashed .340/.377/.443 with 33 hits, three home runs, 10 RBIs, and seven walks. And despite a drop in average to .262, his power picked up through his first 11 games in June when he clubbed four homers and drove in 13 runs.
Then a fractured rib sidelined him for three weeks, and he wasn’t the same when he came back. He managed to hit three home runs in 18 July games, but his .183 average that month dropped him to .259 for the season. August was better, but Benintendi still underperformed, slashing .247/.277/.371 with only a home run and six RBIs.
Fortunately, September has been better for Benintendi, and so far a month for him deserving of one of Kansas City color commentator Rex Hudler’s favorite descriptors—“lava hot.”
In his 10 September games entering Saturday night’s contest at Minnesota, Benintendi is slashing .325/.372/.675; in his last seven games alone, Benintendi has slashed .370/.433/.778 with 12 RBIs and three homers. He’d rapped 10 hits in 20-at bats going into Saturday on the Royals’ current road trip to go along with two five RBI games.
Andrew Benintendi’s glovework has been superb for the KC Royals this year.
To go along with his hot offense, Benintendi has been quite the spectacle to watch on defense so far this season.
Though he wasn’t on our recent list of potential Gold Glove candidates for this year (mainly because of missed playing time due to his rib injury), Benintendi’s defense hasn’t faltered since his time in Boston. He has a .984 fielding percentage, which ranks sixth in the majors and second in the American League out of all qualified left fielders. His 175 putouts ranks first out of all American League left fielders, and his six assists rank third in the majors.
He’s also made a couple of force outs at the plate and some spectacular, game-saving catches on the Royals’ current road trip.
Andrew Benintendi has been “lava hot” for the KC Royals so far this month.