The Red Sox offense has remained largely inconsistent even in what was a largely great month of August, but one hitter stood out as a consistent producer in the middle of the lineup. That would be Andrew Benintendi, who broke out of a little mid-year slump to turn it on at the most important time for the Red Sox. The league as a whole recognized how well he played in the second-to-last month of the regular season, and his performance earned him Rookie of the Month honors for the month.
You can see his numbers in the tweet above. They are very good! When you put it in the context of what parks he was hitting in and what the average hitter was doing around the league, it’s even better. Benintendi put up a 156 wRC+ in the month, meaning he was 56 percent better than the league-average hitter. That tied him with Tommy Pham and Gary Sanchez for the 22nd best hitter in all of baseball in the month. That’s very good!
This was definitely a well-deserved award for Benintendi, and it’s always nice to see players recognized for their performance. That being said, there is going to be a lot of talk about this launching him into a Rookie of the Year campaign, and I’m sorry to say that’s not really realistic. There’s no doubt that Aaron Judge has been struggling in the second half while Benintendi has been surging, but the gap is just too large. I don’t want to say it’s impossible because, well, let’s just say I’ve been very wrong about some voting campaigns in recent years. I will just say that I’d be very surprised. Even with Judge’s recent struggles, his overall wRC+ for the season is the same as Benintendi’s for the month of August. Whatever ends up happening, all of us — as well as Benintendi, I’m sure — will take a division title and a deep playoff run over a Rookie of the Year award. That will be Benintendi’s goal for the rest of the year. Not a trophy.