Tag Archives: Andrew Benintendi

Dominic Smith (New York Mets) and Yoan Moncada (Boston Red Sox) in action at Portland

Top prospects Yoan Moncada (Boston Red Sox) and Dominic Smith (New York Mets) together at Hadlock Field

Top prospects Yoan Moncada (Boston Red Sox) and Dominic Smith (New York Mets) together at Hadlock Field

Mets #2 prospect Amed Rosario

Mets #2 prospect Amed Rosario

(Portland ME) Irresistible collection of baseball prospects at Hadlock Field in Portland on Thursday night.

The local Portland Sea Dogs, however, lost 4-0 to the Binghamton Mets and continue to have the worst record (35-62) in the Eastern League.

I arrived at Hadlock 1 ½ hours early in time to see long lines of folks outside the park ahead of the 7PM start.  Didn’t imagine that the fan passion was over the prospects I hoped to see……..and it wasn’t.

Turns out that the first 1000 fans were going to receive a free Travis Shaw bobblehead.  The lure for a $3 item featuring the former Sea Dog drew that crowd and I’m guessing that there were more than the 1000 in the lines.

Anyhow, the lure for me was a look at the New York Mets’ top two prospects as well as yet another look at Red Sox prospects Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi.

Red Sox #3 prospect Andrew Benintendi

Red Sox #3 prospect Andrew Benintendi

There was clearly a sense of urgency.  All four players could well be in triple A very soon, they’re that good.  In fact, I checked the Eastern League transactions regularly while the Sea Dogs were on the road to see if any of them had been moved.  I remembered how quickly Xander and Mookie came and went from Portland.

But none of the four had moved up and when I checked the starting lineups all four were there.

I had seen Andrew twice and Yoan once, so spotting them for pictures was easy.  The tough part in shooting them was the setting sun which necessitated sunglasses for some players.  Andrew is one of those.

The two Mets were a different problem.  I had never seen them before in person.  I did have numbers but in the Eastern League the numbers are only on the back. So I didn’t expect to get any early shots of #1 Amed Rosario or #22 Dominic Smith.

I was wrong about that because both players stopped and interacted with Portland players so that I was able to see the numbers on the back.  The Portland players have names on the back as well but not Binghamton.

Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith

Since I had pictures of Yoan and Andrew from a previous visit I concentrated on being sure I had some of Dominic and Amed.  I started the game on the edge of the Binghamton dugout because those two players would come towards me at the end of innings.  I was also aware that switch-hitting Yoan would be facing my way while batting.

I had to adjust my settings on the Binghamton side because the sun was blocked by the height of the stadium as it set.  Not so on the Portland side.

I would have loved to have had another camera available with a small lens because I was very close to the Binghamton players.  That Nikon I made an offer for during a recent yard sale might have been the ticket.

Yoan Moncada batting

Yoan Moncada batting

Despite all the hype (in my head), the four promising ones were all hitless for the night.  Yoan reached on a walk and I hoped that the minor league’s leading base stealer might run but he didn’t.

Dominic Smith was a Mets first-rounder in 2013.  Not tall (6’) but big (250 pounds).  The twenty-one year old Binghamton first baseman was the MVP in the Florida State League last season.  Going into last night’s game he had 12 homers, 67 RBI, and a .294 batting average.

Amed Rosario

Amed Rosario

Amed Rosario is only twenty.  The Dominican was signed by the Mets as a 16-year-old.  The 6-2 shortstop has played a good part of this season with St. Lucie in the Florida State League.  With Binghamton so far, after 23 games, he has 33 hits, 14 RBI, and a .379 batting average.

The two Mets players should reach AAA Las Vegas in August.  Yoan and Andrew should see Pawtucket shortly.  Andrew may make it to Fenway.  I will be very pleasantly surprised if I return to Hadlock and Yoan and Andrew are still on the Portland roster.

Speedster speeds past tightly-dressed Slugger near second

Speedster speeds past tightly-dressed Slugger near second

It was disco night at Hadlock and that may well have been why Slugger continued his losing streak.  His pants were seriously tight and I think he was afraid that he might rip them out so he didn’t take any chances.  On this night he faced a little kid with plenty of jets.  This kid was so fast that he was able to stop at second and allow Slugger back into the race and then blow the big guy away.  I am not sure that looser pants would have made a difference now that I think of it.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith

Amed Rosario

Amed Rosario

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Amed Rosario

Amed Rosario

Amed Rosario and Mauricio Dubon

Amed Rosario and Mauricio Dubon

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Mauricio Dubon (#11 Red Sox prospect) triples

Mauricio Dubon (#11 Red Sox prospect) triples

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

20-year-old Amed Rosario

20-year-old Amed Rosario

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Kid torches Slugger

Kid torches Slugger

 

 

 

 

 

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Yoan Moncada (#1 Boston Red Sox prospect) now at AA Portland

Boston's #1 prospect (Yoan Moncada) is now playing for Portland

Boston’s #1 prospect (Yoan Moncada) is now playing for Portland

Mauricio Dubon and Yoan Moncada

Mauricio Dubon and Yoan Moncada

(Portland ME)  I went to Hadlock Field on Thursday night to get a first look at the Red Sox’s #1 prospect Yoan Moncada.

The bonus was the seeing the AA debuts of shortstop Mauricio Duban (Boston’s #13 prospect) and starter Jalen Beeks.

A good crowd was on hand for a Thursday night game.  I guessed at first that watching Yoan Moncada in action was the motivation.  Later there was mention that there would be fireworks after the game.  The latter is the best explanation for the crowd size.

The last-place Sea Dogs lost the game 5-2 to the Harrisburg Senators.

Jalen Beeks started for Portland and had ten strikeouts in five innings of work

Jalen Beeks started for Portland and had ten strikeouts in five innings of work

The atmosphere at AA games is so different from the majors.  Players on either team are hardly known by the typical spectator.  Why do they come?  Tickets are inexpensive and the entertainment between innings is watch-worthy.  You also have the mascot, my friend Slugger, roving through the grandstand interacting with fans especially the young ones.

My goal was to get pictures of Yoan Moncada and I succeeded.  The sun was tough so it was difficult to know for sure what I had for quality.  I used the Portland dugout in the early going and then switched to the Harrisburg side when I knew that left-handed Yoan would be batting.

I had hoped to get Yoan handling something at second base but it never happened while I was there.

I did catch the 20-year-old coming off the field several times.

Yoan Moncada out at first on a close play after a bunt attempt

Yoan Moncada out at first on a close play after a bunt attempt

Yoan attempted a bunt in his second at-bat and but for a terrific play by Harrisburg pitcher Phillips Valdez would have beaten it out.  His speed is impressive.  He leads all of the minor leagues with 36 stolen bases.  In this game he didn’t reach base to show off that speed.

I saw him interact with some of his former Salem (VA), A ball, teammates before the game but there was little interaction beyond that.  Could be a language issue.

Lefty starter Jalen Beeks gave up four runs (three earned) in five innings.  The big stat for him was striking out ten Senators during those five innings.

Shortstop Mauricio Duban had a triple and later scored a run.  I look at a player like Mauricio and the word “shortstop” is the first thing that gets my attention.  Where would he play at the next level?  The same is true for second baseman Yoan Moncada.  Dustin is signed through 2021.

Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada

Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada

Realistically, outfielder Andrew Benintendi, now at Portland, would seem to have the best shot in Boston.  The Boston GM, however, said that Andrew’s hitting needs to improve.  I was impressed with Andrew’s patience batting during this game.  He was taking pitches and I know that the Red Sox want their hitters doing that.  I predict that Andrew will be in Pawtucket before the other three.

Slugger had another mascot working with him tonight.  At times I wasn’t sure which one was which!

Slugger loses track of his opponent's right

Slugger loses track of his opponent’s right

Slugger sent flying

Slugger sent flying

Slugger really had me scratching my head on this night.  I have known him as a dog of many talents just based on his speed on the base paths.  I discovered tonight that Slugger does NOT have a future in boxing.  Why?  Someone got it into his head that with a fancy bathrobe and some king-sized boxing gloves he could put on a good show.  It didn’t happen.  The opponent, on this night, was a young girl who could hardly reach Slugger’s waist.  But this kid had moves.  While Slugger danced around she did too.  It appeared that Slugger was so impressed with her footwork that he lost sight of the boxing glove on her right hand.  She delivered a shot to Slugger’s midsection and back he went on his back in a complete fog.  I expected the Sea Dog’s medical staff to get involved but they didn’t.  I thought that the young lady would check Slugger out but she didn’t.  I was going to get involved but I was in front of the Harrisburg dugout and the action was in front of the Portland dugout.  Slugger did eventually recover enough to get to his feet.  I did notice that he walked off as if he wasn’t sure if he was on foot or horseback!

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Mauricio Dubon tries on his new Portland Sea Dogs' hat

Mauricio Dubon tries on his new Portland Sea Dogs’ hat

Mauricio Dubon

Mauricio Dubon

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Harrisburg catcher Spencer Kieboom

Harrisburg catcher Spencer Kieboom

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Rafael Bautista (#16 Washington National's prospect) about to cross home

Rafael Bautista (#16 Washington National’s prospect) about to cross home

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Mauricio Dubon had a triple vs Harrisburg

Mauricio Dubon had a triple vs Harrisburg

Yoan Moncada in Portland dugout

Yoan Moncada in Portland dugout

Yoan Moncada throwing

Yoan Moncada throwing

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Wilmer Difo (#6 Washington National's prospect)

Wilmer Difo (#6 Washington National’s prospect)

Yoan Moncada bats

Yoan Moncada bats

Mauricio Dubon

Mauricio Dubon

 

 

 

 

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Prospect Andrew Benintendi (Benny Baseball) sighted in Portland’s 2-1 win over Hartford

Andrew Benintendi (1st round draft pick in 2015)

Andrew Benintendi (1st round draft pick in 2015)

Andrew Benintendi prepping for an at-bat

Andrew Benintendi prepping for an at-bat

(Portland ME) I got my first look at 21-year-old Andrew Benintendi (known as “Benny Baseball” at Arkansas) this afternoon at Portland’s Hadlock Field.

I was able to get plenty of shots of Boston’s first-round draft pick (2015) in an afternoon in which the last-place Sea Dogs defeated Hartford, 2-1.

The Yard Goats are in 2nd place in the Eastern League East.  I heard in the press room before the game that there is a good possibility that Hartford’s stadium will not open at all this season.  Should change their name to the “Road” Goats??

Mitch Atkins (six scoreless innings, no walks, 8 K's)

Mitch Atkins (six scoreless innings, no walks, 8 K’s)

Veterans paved the way for the Portland win.  Last-minute starter Mitch Atkins (30) pitched six scoreless innings while Nate Freiman (29) launched a 2-run homer in the first inning that spelled the difference on this sunny afternoon.

Aaron Wilkerson was scheduled to pitch for the Sea Dogs.  He has been Portland’s best pitcher (2-1, 1.83 ERA) and was called up to Pawtucket today.  Naturally, I was disappointed that a spot-starter would replace Aaron but Mitch was indeed a worthy replacement this afternoon.

Nate Freiman (drafted by San Diego in 2009) put a serious charge into a Kyle Freeland, first-inning offering and cleared the Maine Monster with ease.

Andrew Benintendi dives back into first.

Andrew Benintendi dives back into first.

My ultimate intent on the visit (arranged by Chris Cameron) was to catch Andrew Benintendi in action.  There is no guarantee that the next time I visit he’ll still be there.  I chased Xander and Mookie at Portland with the same thinking in mind.  You just knew that they would advance to Pawtucket on their way to the big team.  Andrew could well move on.

Andrew was taken by the Red Sox in June of last year and signed for $3.6 million dollars.  He was the College Player-of-the-Year in 2015 at Arkansas.

Andrew was drafted by Cincinnati in 2013 but didn’t sign.  He’s from Ohio.

Andrew Benintendi asks for time after stealing second.

Andrew Benintendi asks for time after stealing second.

Andrew started this season at A ball at Salem (VA) but had big numbers right from the start there.  The turning point in promoting him may well have been the number of intentional walks he started getting.

The most impressive stat at Salem was NOT his 23-game hitting streak, in my opinion.  I preferred the stat in which he went ten games and forty-eight swings without ever swinging and missing.  Think about that!  That remarkable stat was why I took special note today when Hartford starter Kyle Freeland got Andrew swinging.

Andrew played centerfield flawlessly.  He has good speed and good range.  He had his 4th steal today.

Slugger down-and-out as kid crosses home

Slugger down-and-out as kid crosses home

Kid consoles Slugger after the race

Kid consoles Slugger after the race

Those who read my Portland accounts know that I’m a big fan of Slugger the Portland mascot.  Every game he risks humiliation as he gets into a footrace around the bases with a young fan.

Today Slugger had an excellent chance to win.  The chosen competition had his hat out of place and an uncertainty about where to go after each base.  Maybe it was the heat, but Slugger collapsed with a pretty good lead rounding first heading for home.  Down he went in a heap.

Now this is important: A stunned Slugger was down-and-out as his young competitor crossed home.  Did the kid gloat as some of them have after winning?  Not this kid.  Classy all the way.  He went over to see if Slugger was okay and helped him up.  Fine young man!  You don’t mind losing to someone like that.

A pleasant surprise for me today was being asked to take a picture of Sea Dogs’ first baseman Ryan Court and his family.  The parents are visiting from Illinois.  Ryan was drafted by Arizona in 2011.  He was in the Independent League (Sioux City) last year.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle

Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin tags out Rosell Herrera

Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin tags out Rosell Herrera

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Dave Dahl (1st round - 2012) and manager Darin Everson

Dave Dahl (1st round – 2012) and manager Darin Everson

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Ryan Court with his parents from Illinois

Ryan Court with his parents from Illinois

Nate Freiman and Andrew Benintendi after first-inning homer

Nate Freiman and Andrew Benintendi after first-inning homer

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi scores first run

Kyle Freeland (1st round - 2014)

Kyle Freeland (1st round – 2014)

Wendell Rijo

Wendell Rijo

Ty Buttrey (4th round - 2012)

Ty Buttrey (4th round – 2012)

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Ryan Court

Ryan Court

Nate Freiman in Portland dugout after home run

Nate Freiman in Portland dugout after home run

Andrew Benintendi scores first run

Andrew Benintendi after striking out

Pat Valaika watches

Pat Valaika watches

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Diving back into first

Diving back into first

Teddy Stankiewicz (2nd round - 2013) and Andrew Benintendi

Teddy Stankiewicz (2nd round – 2013) and Andrew Benintendi

 

 

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