Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi walks out of the dugout to take batting practice prior to the team's baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren
August 02, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) The Boston Red Sox got their biggest trade deadline acquisition from within.

Top prospect Andrew Benintendi joined the team Tuesday prior to 5-4 loss at Seattle following a promotion from Double-A Portland. The plan was to get the 22-year-old outfielder comfortable with the big club before starting him in left field on Wednesday.

''It's something I've dreamed of since I was a kid and to finally be here, it's an unreal feeling,'' Benintendi said. ''I'm just going to go out there and contribute the best I can, stick with my game.''

He pinch hit and stayed in to play left field Tuesday night, going 0 for 2 and striking out to end the game.

Benintendi was the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft as a sophomore out of Arkansas. He's since emerged as one of the top prospects in baseball after hitting .312 with nine homers, 76 RBIs and 16 stolen bases this season between Class A Salem and Double-A Portland. He has 20 homers and 26 stolen bases in 151 minor league games.

The left-handed hitter also draws strong marks for his plate discipline, posting a .378 on-base percentage this year.

Benintendi played center field in the minors, but with Jackie Bradley Jr. entrenched in center and Mookie Betts in right, Benintendi will break in as a left fielder. Initially, the plan is to platoon him with right-handed hitting Bryce Brentz.

''This is a young player that's advanced through the system obviously very quick,'' Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ''A talented guy, there's a lot of excitement around him. But there's no question that there's still going to be a learning curve for him here.

''He's going to be down the bottom-third of the order. We don't need to make any more of a focal point of his presence here with his placement in the order. We've got a very good, young and diverse lineup. We just want him to go out and play, play to his abilities.''

Boston President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said he tried finding outfield talent before Monday's non-waiver trading deadline ''but the cost was too high.'' He said his scouts kept pushing Benintendi as the guy, even though he has had a brief professional career.

''It came down to, we think he can come up here and contribute to our club and help us win,'' Dombrowski said.

Benintendi is the first Red Sox prospect to reach the majors the season after he was drafted since Fred Lynn in 1974.

''I never expected that,'' he said. ''I think Mr. Dombrowski has said before that he's done it a few times. It was a pleasant surprise, and I'm extremely excited to be here.''

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