The biggest news as it relates to the Red Sox organization on Friday didn’t take place at Fenway Park, it took place in Double-A Portland.
Highly-touted prospect Andrew Benintendi will be making his first professional start in left field, shifting over from his natural position of center field.
Manager John Farrell was aware of the change.
“Aware of position changes, aware of the potential estimated timeline of arrival,” Farrell said. “Again, the player is going to determine when he is most ready. As we’ve seen with a number of guys, we haven’t been hesitant to move them around on the field, change positions. With Andrew going to left, we are looking down the road a little ways. When that day comes that he’s a left fielder here in Boston, remains to be seen, but the way he’s swung the bat, the way he’s advanced this year, you start to prepare for that eventual day.”
It seems like it will be a gradual shift as per source, he’s not expected to play there every day, but will get early work and reps during batting practice there. It also seems likely a potential promotion to Triple-A could come in the coming weeks.
The 2015 first-round pick, No. 7 overall out of the University of Arkansas is batting .277 with six home runs and 31 RBIs over 54 games in Double-A. He started the year in High-A Salem, but was promoted after batting .341 in 34 games.
Farrell added the shift to left field had nothing to do with Blake Swihart’s recent setback in his ankle rehab.
It seems likely the Red Sox are preparing for September when the rosters expand and also looking towards the future as Benintendi is blocked in center field with Jackie Bradley Jr., but left field is up for grabs.