Red Sox sign first-round pick Andrew Benintendi

Club's Second Selection Austin Rei among Additional Players Signed from 2015 June Draft

BOSTON, MA - The Boston Red Sox have signed first-round selection Andrew Benintendi, a 20-year-old centerfielder out of the University of Arkansas, the club's first pick in the 2015 June Draft (seventh overall). He is one of five signings announced today by Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Rikard, including the club's second pick, third-rounder Austin Rei (pronounced "RYE"), a 21-year-old catcher out of the University of Washington.

Benintendi was recently named winner of both the 2015 Golden Spikes Award, recognizing the top amateur baseball player in the country, and the 2015 Dick Howser Trophy, given annually to the most outstanding collegiate baseball player. The left-handed batter hit .376 (85-for-226) with 13 doubles, two triples, 20 home runs, 57 RBI, and 62 runs scored in 65 games for the Razorbacks as a sophomore this season. At 5-foot-10, 180-pounds, he drew 50 walks for a .488 on-base percentage and stole 24 bases in 28 attempts. 

He led NCAA Division I players in home runs and ranked third with a .717 slugging percentage in 2015. Rated by Baseball America as the best collegiate pure hitter available in this year's draft, he was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year after leading the conference in batting average, slugging, on-base percentage, home runs, and walks. Benintendi also became the first player in Arkansas team history to be named National Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball. He has helped the Razorbacks to a 40-23 record this season and a berth in the College World Series.

As a senior in 2013 at Madeira High School, in his hometown of Cincinnati, OH, Benintendi was named Rawlings National High School Player of the Year, Gatorade Ohio Baseball Player of the Year, and a First Team All-American after batting .564 with 12 homers, 57 RBI, and 38 stolen bases. He was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 31st round of the 2013 June Draft but did not sign.

Rei was selected 81st overall out of the University of Washington. As a junior, he was limited to 25 games this season due to a left thumb injury suffered in February, but led the team in batting average (.330), slugging percentage (.681), on-base percentage (.445), and OPS (1.127). He reached base safely in all but one game and, despite missing time, ranked second on the Huskies with both seven homers and 20 RBI. Baseball America rated him among the top three collegiate-level defensive players available in the draft. 

A native of Moraga, CA, he was selected to both the All-Pac-12 Team and the All-Pac-12 Defensive Team as a sophomore in 2014. A 6-foot, 185-pound right-handed hitter, he is the nephew of Fran Mullins, an infielder who played parts of three years in the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox (1980), San Francisco Giants (1984), and Cleveland Indians (1986). Rei was a 37th-round selection by the Minnesota Twins in the 2012 June Draft but did not sign.

In addition to Benintendi and Rei, the club announced the signings of three more players selected in the 2015 June Draft, including catcher Andrew Noviello (25th round) out of Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School in Massachusetts, as well as left-handed pitcher Bobby Poyner (14th round) and outfielder Tyler Spoon (35th round).

In all, 24 of the 39 players selected by Boston in the 2015 June Draft have been signed to contracts, including 13 of the club's 14 picks within the top 15 rounds.

Attached is a list of the Red Sox 2015 draft picks. Names in bold indicate the player has signed.