Red Sox pick Benintendi wins Howser Trophy
OMAHA, Neb. -- Andrew Benintendi, a sophomore outfielder for the University of Arkansas who was selected by the Red Sox with the seventh overall pick in the MLB Draft on Monday, was named the winner of the Dick Howser Trophy on Friday. The award is annually given to the best college baseball player in the country.
"I'm really excited to win such a prestigious award," Benintendi said. "I've been very blessed throughout my life, and I'm very honored."
One day earlier, Benintendi was named the Baseball America National Player of the Year. Benintendi had a monster year for Arkansas and led the powerful Southeastern Conference in batting average (.380), home runs (19), on-base percentage (.489), slugging (.715) and walks (47).
"Just a great honor for him and his family," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "Andrew is a pretty humble kid. He doesn't say a whole lot. He does take a lot of things personal if it doesn't go well. I know very rarely coaches have an opportunity to coach someone as talented as Andrew Benintendi."
Benintendi is the highest-ranked draftee out of his school in a generation. Third baseman Jeff King went No. 1 overall in 1986, and outfielder Kevin McReynolds was drafted No. 6 overall in '81.
"For him to be recognized nationally is great for him, but it's also very good for the University of Arkansas, and [I'm] just excited for him," Van Horn said.
A.J. Reed out of the University of Kentucky won the Howser Trophy in 2014, and one year earlier, Kris Bryant won it for his exploits at the University of San Diego. Bryant is currently starring for the Cubs.