FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The awards keep coming for sophomore outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who was named the Baseball America National Player of the Year Thursday morning.
Currently tied for the national lead in home runs, Benintendi is the first National Player of the Year in program history, garnering the award from Collegiate Baseball on May 28, before picking up the same honor from Baseball America.
Benintendi, who is currently a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award, was recently drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the seventh overall pick, making him the third-highest drafted player in program history behind Jeff King going No. 1 overall in 1986 and Kevin McReynolds at No. 6 overall in 1981.
The Cincinnati native is on the brink of becoming the third player in SEC history to lead the league in home runs and batting average, currently holding a one-homer lead and five-point edge in batting average. He would join Rafael Palmeiro (Miss. State in ‘84) and Jeff Abbott (UK in ‘94) as the only players in conference history to accomplish the feat.
The sophomore is one of two players in the country to rank in the top 15 in home runs and batting average and one of two individuals in the nation with 15-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases. He is just one home run away from being the fifth player in school history to reach 20 home runs in a season.
In the best baseball conference in America, Benintendi leads the SEC in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, on base percentage and walks, and is the only player in the nation to rank in the top 25 nationally in every category.
Benintendi is the seventh SEC player to be named the National Player of the Year by Baseball America, joining Dave Magadan (Alabama, 1983), Ben McDonald (LSU, 1989), Todd Helton (Tennessee, 1995), David Price (Vanderbilt, 2007), Mike Zunino (Florida, 2012) and AJ Reed (Kentucky, 2014).
In addition to being tabbed the Baseball America National Player of the Year, Benintendi was named a first-team All-American by the publication.
Benintendi will make his first trip to the College World Series this weekend when Arkansas travels to Omaha for the eighth time in program history to play Virginia in the opening game Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park.
Awards and Accolades
• Southeastern Conference Player of the Year
• Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year
• Baseball America National Player of the Year
• Golden Spikes Award Finalist
• Dick Howser Trophy Finalist
• Is the first National Player of the Year in program history.
• Is the first SEC Player of the Year in program history.
• Is the first Razorback to win a major SEC award since Nick Schmidt won Pitcher of the Year in 2006.
• Is the first player in school history with at least 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season.
• On pace to become the first player in SEC history to win the batting title, home run title and Player of the Year.
• On pace to become the third player in SEC history to finish the year as the league leader in home runs and batting average.
• Is currently tied for the national lead with 19 home runs on the year.
• Is one of only two players in the country with 15-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases (Only player in the CWS).
• Currently leads the SEC in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, on base percentage and walks.
• Is 12 RBI’s shy of becoming the second Triple Crown winner in SEC history.
• Leads all sophomores in the country in batting average, home runs and slugging percentage.
• One home run away from being one of five players in school history to reach 20 home runs in a season.
• Is tied for the national lead with 19 home runs on the year.
• Is third in the country with a .715 slugging percentage (Highest in the CWS).
• His current .715 slugging percentage ranks him seventh all-time in Razorback season-season history.
• Ranks eighth in the SEC with 55 RBI’s on the year (12 behind leader).
• Had a span of four home runs in six plate appearances against Mississippi Valley State and Kentucky.
• Leads the SEC with a .489 on base percentage (Highest in the CWS).
• Leads the SEC with a .380 batting average (Highest in the CWS).
• His .380 batting average would be the highest at Arkansas since 2010, when Zack Cox set the school record at .429.
• Is second in the SEC with 158 total bases (six behind the leader).
• Is fourth in the SEC with 23 stolen bases on the year.
• Is third in the SEC with 61 runs scored.
• Was selected by the Boston Red Sox with the seventh overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft
• Is the third-highest MLB Draft pick in school history, behind Jeff King (No. 1 in 1986) and Kevin McReynolds (No. 6 in 1981).
• Is the eighth first round draft pick in school history and first since Ryne Stanek in 2013.
• Is the third Arkansas player in the last two years selected by the Red Sox (Jalen Beeks, Michael Gunn).
• Was one of seven SEC players taken in the first round and third highest pick.
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