We all know by now that Andrew Benintendi, despite being in the midst of a great season that has helped propel the Red Sox to the best record in baseball and has helped give the team one of the most feared top three lineup spots in baseball, is not an All Star. This one came is a bit of a shock despite the American League being very, very talented at the moment. It seemed he had the numbers to get the nod along with some name recognition as a recent top prospect and, again, team success. The recipe was there, but Benintendi had to settle for a spot among the Final Vote candidates. Now, it’s up to fans to decide whether or not he deserves a spot. Let’s go through the other candidates and determine why Benintendi deserves the vote.
Stanton leads Benintendi in home runs and....well, that’s about it. Benintendi has been a better overall hitter (142 wRC+ vs. 133), walks more, strikes out less, has scored more runs, knocked in more runs and stolen way more bases. He also plays the field on a daily basis while Stanton has spent a significant amount of time as the Yankees’ DH. Benintendi doesn’t have the name value of Stanton and doesn’t hit the consistent moonshots of the Yankees slugger, but he’s undoubtedly been the better player in 2018. Plus, he’s on the better team.
Rosario is another outfielder who, similarly to us with Benintendi, Twins fans kind of assumed would find his way onto the roster. I’ve always liked Rosario and he’s certainly taken his game to a new level this year. That being said, Benintendi has been better. The Red Sox outfielder has a 142 wRC+ compared to a 134 mark for Rosario. Benintendi has four fewer home runs, but he has a slighty lower strikeout rate and a significantly higher walk rate to go with more stolen bases, more runs and more RBI. Benintendi also makes up for some of the home run gap by hitting three more triples in 2018. Oh, and he plays on the better team.
This is going to be a tough bit of competition from Mariners fans who are really having a good time this year and justifiably want to see as many players as possible from their team on the All Star roster. Unfortunately for them, Benintendi has been better this year. It’s true that Segura plays a more premium position, but Benintendi has been better by a large enough margin at the plate (142 wRC+ vs. 130) to make up for that. Segura has a big advantage in batting average, but Benintendi has a higher OBP while hitting for significantly more power and making a bigger impact on the bases. Plus, he plays on the better team.
This is, in my opinion, the toughest bit of competition in this vote and if Benintendi were to lose Simmons is the player I’d like to see win. He is the best defensive shortstop in the game and really among the elite shortstops to ever play the game. He’s upped his value at the plate, too, and if you are into WAR he and Benintendi are tied up in fWAR, each leading the other three players on the ballot. Benintendi has been much better at the plate, with Simmons taking the defensive side of things. You know what the tiebreaker is, though? Benintendi’s on the better team.
So, go out and vote for Andrew Benintendi. The All-Star Game is fun and it’s even more fun when there are a bunch of Red Sox players there. Vote here.