Current Boston sensation Andrew Benintendi was drafted in the first round out of suburban Madeira High School, and just a few seasons later finished among the Best selections for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Ten years earlier Boston had discovered outfielder Kevin Youkilis, who would go on to be an All-Star for the Red Sox, while playing for the University of Cincinnati.
Baseball executives in Bean Town might want to break two more players from Cincinnati before the trading deadline next month, only the duo will have to be taken in the Reds instead of the draft. Any deal would cost Boston very little in return, such as the rebuilding Reds are more interested in opening up playing time for younger players.
Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton is a talented defensive center fielder and base runner, but he has been a below average hitter throughout his career. Still, ESPN Buster Olney believes that Hamilton’s speed could be an asset to any rival team, based on his column on June 18.
Olney didn’t include Boston among the three clubs he believed good fits for Hamilton, but the Red Sox have several reasons to get him. Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr is still hitting well beneath the Mendoza Line, almost halfway through the 2018 season. He is among those few players that Hamilton is really outhitting, and the latter could be a certain upgrade on defense.
The Reds also have a much better asset to sell to the Red Sox, second baseman Scooter Gennett. His .336 batting average is second best in the National League, and twice has been chosen as Player of the Week. Boston has been reluctant to upgrade at moment, anticipating the return of All-Star Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list.
Pedroia did come off the D.L. last week, only to be placed back on after just 1 game. Since the division rival Yankees are proving to be one of the greatest teams in the league, the Red Sox can ill afford to wait for Pedroia to get fully cured.
Right now Boston is using Eduardo Escobar at second, a veteran presence certainly but more of a utility infielder than an everyday player. Gennett would be a massive upgrade, and he is flexible enough to move elsewhere should Pedroia return.
Perhaps through such a bargain, Cincinnati could pluck a few gems from Boston.