John Manuel released Baseball America’s second mock draft. And with the ninth pick in the first round of the 2015 draft, Manuel has the Cubs selecting Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi.
Manuel had Vanderbilt right-hander Carson Fulmer slipping to the Cubs with the ninth pick a week ago. A lot can change in a week. Manuel thinks the Diamondbacks will take Fulmer now with the first pick. Fulmer’s stock went up last Thursday with his second straight complete game. Fulmer tied a career-high in strikeouts (14) and allowed only two hits in the first inning. Fulmer is not the only player that possibly improved his draft status last week.
As of May 16, Benintendi was hitting .415/.511/.771 with 12 doubles, two triples and second in the country with 17 home runs. Benintendi had more walks (37) than strikeouts (25) and was 21-for-25 in stolen bases.
Benintendi ranks in the top 10 in Division I in batting average (.417) and on-base percentage (.511) and leads the nation in slugging percentage (.771).
Scouting Grades – MLB
Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
Andrew Benintendi is a draft eligible sophomore at Arkansas so he has some leverage in the draft. The lefty hitting and throwing outfielder was selected by the Reds in the 31st round of the 2013 draft. Benintendi is 5-foot-10, 170 pounds and is 20 years old (July 6, 1994).
Benintendi has created a lot of attention this spring with the way he has performed in the SEC. Benintendi features a smooth swing and has shown the ability to “consistently barrel up balls and make hard contact” with excellent pitch recognition. Benintendi has “extremely strong forearms and has shown plus raw power that plays in games.” He has the ability to hit balls to all fields, with most of his homers coming to the pull side.
Defensively, he is considered a legitimate centerfielder with “excellent reads and instincts.” Benintendi has “above-average to plus run times.”
According to Baseball America, Andrew Benintendi might be “the best combination of athleticism and production in this college class.”
Cubs 2015 Draft Reports
- Baseball America Mock Draft 2015: Version 1.0
- Baseball America Has Cubs Selecting RHP Carson Fulmer in First Mock Draft
- FanGraphs’ Mock Draft Has Cubs Selecting OF Trenton Clark in First Round
- Baseball America Mock Draft: Version 2.0