Big Ben: Andrew Benintendi finally finding stride in Yankees pinstripes

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Andrew Benintendi Yankees
New York Yankees’ Andrew Benintendi’s RBI double scores Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Corey Sipkin

It may have taken longer than he would have liked, but the Andrew Benintendi that the Yankees had been expecting when they acquired him at the deadline appears to finally be arriving. 

Benintendi had back-to-back big games for the Yankees, crushing a home run on Sunday in a much-needed win over the Toronto Blue Jays and then driving home a pair of runs on Monday against the Mets, including late in the game that gave the Bombers a two-run cushion. And his at-bats of late have usually yielded a hit for the Yankees, who had watched their offense struggle recently. 

“I’ve kind of been talking about it the whole time with him, he’s such a good hitter,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Such a good bat to ball, controls the strike zone and it feels like he’s really starting to settle in now. He’s come up big the last couple of days for us, but I feel like for the better part of the last week he’s started to build that momentum.”

The Yankees outfielder has had four hits in eight plate appearances in the last two games, along with a home run and a pair of doubles in that span. And over his last eight games, Benintendi has slashed 286/.375/.571 with a 170 wRC+ in 33 plate appearances, according to YankeesMuse

It’s a stark difference from where he had been through his first few games in a Yankee uniform. In the eight games after the trade, he slashed .083/.303/.125 and had just two hits while striking out six times. 

Boone had said that it takes time for guys to adjust to a new team and that played a part in his early struggles with the club, but that wasn’t something that Benintendi seemed comfortable using as an excuse. 

“I think it was just one of those things that you go through throughout the season,” he explained. “It’s unfortunate that it happened right when I got over here, but it’s a hard game. Hopefully, I can keep just keep putting in the work and pray that it will turn around. Just continue to work with the guys.”

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While Benintendi’s at-bats have been a big boost for the Yankees, his baserunning has been equally important. He showed off his skills on the base paths during Monday’s win as well as his speed. 

The Yankees will need a player like Benintendi to keep up his offensive output as they try to work their way out of the slump they had been in.