KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNW) – Pitchers and catchers for the Kansas City Royals will report in less than a week with Spring Training in Arizona on the horizon.
The Royals added a new piece to their outfield Wednesday night, completing a three-team trade that brought Andrew Benintendi over from the Boston Red Sox.
“I find out it is the Royals and extremely excited, I’m from the Midwest, I’m going to a Midwest team, I’m excited,” said Benintendi.
The man they call “Benny” says he has already seen the passion from fans in Kansas City.
“First time I was introduced to Kansas City fans was when I was attending Arkansas in ’14 and ’15 and obviously that was in the peak of those runs,” said Benintendi.
In 2015, Benintendi led the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in batting average, hitting .380 for the Razorbacks.
He racked up several awards and accolades that season. He was named the SEC Player of the Year. He would also go on to win the Baseball America College Player of the Year Award, the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy.
That led him to Beantown. He was drafted in the first round of the 2016 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft by the Boston Red Sox.
Benintendi has spent his entire MLB career with Boston, winning a World Series title in 2018. In his last complete season with the Red Sox, he hit .266 with 40 doubles.
“He’s a baseball player, he does a lot of things well on the field, he’s highly skilled, he’s very well rounded,” said Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager.
After being limited to just 14 games in 2020 due to a right rib cage strain, Benintendi is determined to come back even stronger.
He will have the tall task of stepping in for a Royals legend, Alex Gordon, who retired after 14 seasons.
“He’s been there for so long and done so much for that organization, hopefully I’ll be able to connect with him and learn as much as I can from him,” said Benintendi.
On Thursday, the Royals announced times for their regular season schedule.
Kansas City will open on Thursday, April 1, against the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium. First pitch is set for 3:10 p.m.