#VoteBenny to make Andrew Benintendi an All-Star

Robert Bouffard - Contributing Writer
@RedSox on Twitter
The 2018 Boston Red Sox are sending five players to our nation’s capital for this year’s All-Star Game. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez will be in the starting lineup, Mitch Moreland will be coming off the bench, and Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel will be available out of the bullpen.

Five players of this caliber from one team is impressive in its own right. But there is one more Red Sox player who is deserving of an All-Star nod and who has a chance to make the final roster: Andrew Benintendi.

Benintendi, along with Giancarlo Stanton, Andrelton Simmons, Eddie Rosario and Jean Segura, is part of the Final Vote for the team. Unlimited online voting is available until Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Putting aside the fact that the team already has five All-Stars, the Red Sox’ left fielder is most deserving of this final spot. He is having a season worthy of recognition.

Everybody knows that Betts is the best player on the team and that when he is in the lineup, he is more than likely to carry it. But he was out with an injury from the end of May until about the middle of June. During this time, Benintendi moved up from his regular two-spot in the lineup to take on leadoff duties. Apart from this past week, this time period was perhaps the best that he has been all season.

From May 27 to June 10, Benintendi batted .328 with a whopping 1.115 OPS, had five homeruns, six doubles, and drove in 11 runs. During this period, he also raised his overall average by 10 points and his overall OPS by 60 points.

Once Mookie returned, Benintendi had a stretch of about 20 games where he wasn’t producing at nearly as high of a level. But in the last four games alone, he’s raised his average by 17 points, to bring it up to .296. In this stretch, he’s gone 10-15 (.667) with four walks and eight runs scored. He also went on a little streak that you may have heard about where he reached base in 10 straight plate appearances. When this guy gets hot, he has the ability to carry the offense (not that the offense needs carrying by any one guy – they’re averaging almost eight runs per game in their last seven games).

If all of this isn’t convincing enough that Andrew Benintendi should be an All-Star, Red Sox Notes on Twitter pointed out that he is the only player in baseball with more than 100 hits, more than 50 RBI and more than 15 steals. He is having a great season.

No disrespect to any of the other players involved in the final vote (except for maybe Stanton, solely because of that horrid logo on his jersey), they are all exceptional players having great seasons, but Andrew Benintendi deserves to be an All-Star.

He leads the group in OPS, OPS+, RBI, triples, stolen bases, walks, runs scored, on base percentage and oWAR. Only Stanton and Rosario have more homers, Segura has one more double, and Benintendi isn’t far off the hits pace, also set by Segura. It isn’t a big deal that he isn’t leading in homeruns, especially when Stanton is included in this group. And he makes up for the lack of hits by walking so often, having a higher overall OBP and scoring when he gets on base.

Red Sox social media has been prolific in their attempts to get votes for Benintendi. #VoteBenny can be seen on the accounts. They have even changed their profile pictures to help the cause (pictured).

The Twitter account has been particularly persistent, reminding fans to vote regularly throughout the day. Last night, there was even a special message from “Campaign Manager” Brock Holt.

Hopefully, all of this hype pays off so that the best team in baseball can be recognized as such at the All-Star Game.

To #VoteBenny, go to RedSox.com/vote.

Click here to read more from Robert Bouffard. Follow him on Twitter - @robouf5