Hanley Ramirez is a pretty interesting dude.
This week, he made a pretty bold claim. How about we check it out?
Not-necessarily-outrageous Hanley Ramirez pronouncement of the day:— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) March 8, 2018
“That guy (points at Andrew Benintendi) will be the MVP.”
Now, this is an interesting claim.
Do I believe it? No. But you have to appreciate the faith in a 23-year-old player who would've won the Rookie of the Year Award under normal circumstances. So, in other words, if Aaron Judge didn't get insanely lucky.
Last year, Benintendi hit .271 with 20 benny bombs (home runs), a .352 on-base percentage, 20 steals and a .776 OPS in 151 games. Remember, he also had a bit of a sophomore slump in his second career big league season, so he could end up growing up and getting even better.
If you forgot how good he is, then check this out:
On a related note, here's something interesting I noticed down in Fort Myers this week. Andrew Benintendi was the most-popular shirsey among the ladies. It must be the flow.
But yeah, Hanley has a great point. Benintendi is a guy you want to keep your eye on this year. We have an idea of what a lot of these guys are going to do this season. They could be slightly better this year under the new coaching staff, but Benintendi has a real opportunity to rise up.
He would honestly be the perfect guy to hit early in the Red Sox lineup. Why couldn't he be their No. 3 hitter behind Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts? He has speed and power and he's more consistent than Hanley Ramirez. Maybe Hanley goes No. 5 in the lineup because we all know JD Martinez is taking the four spot.
If only we could guarantee Hanley isn't going to have a subpar year like he did in 2015 or 2017. Now, that would be what the Red Sox need.