Switch to left may hasten Benintendi's ascent

Red Sox's No. 3 prospect could play in front of Green Monster this season

Switch to left may hasten Benintendi's ascent

BOSTON -- Red Sox prospect Andrew Benintendi excelled during his professional debut in left field for Double-A Portland in Friday's 11-3 win over Binghamton, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs with six putouts.

Since being drafted No. 7 overall by the Red Sox in the 2015 MLB Draft, Benintendi had only played center field.

With center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and right fielder Mookie Betts having breakout years, the best fit for Benintendi -- ranked as Boston's No. 3 prospect by MLBPipeline.com -- appears to be in left field. It also leaves open the possibility of Benintendi making his Major League debut this season.

"With Andrew going to left, we are looking down the road a little ways," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "When that day comes and 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 it, for that eventual day."

The 22-year-old was hitting .304 with seven home runs and 65 RBIs between High Class A Salem and Portland entering Saturday.

Farrell noted that the Red Sox are content to keep super utility player Brock Holt in left field, given their success when he plays the position. The club also recently moved Blake Swihart to left field. However, the converted catcher has been on the disabled list since June 5 with a severe left ankle sprain.

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.