In just a few years, a baseball player with Brown County roots could be hitting home runs over Boston’s famed Green Monster.
On Monday evening, Madeira High School graduate Andrew Benintendi was drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the seventh overall selection in the 2015 MLB Draft. Benintendi, a sophomore outfielder with Arkansas, is currently preparing to take part in the College World Series with the Razorbacks.
This season, Benintendi led the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with a .380 batting average to go with 19 home runs, 55 RBIs, two triples, three doubles, 47 walks, and 23 stolen bases in 27 attempts. He’s slugging .715 and has an on-base percentage of .489.
Benintendi was named both the SEC Player of the Year and the College Baseball National Player of the Year.
While Benintendi is a native of Cincinnati, his parents have deep roots in Brown County.
His mother, Jill, is from Ripley and is a graduate of Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington High School, while his father, Chris, is a Georgetown native and a Georgetown High School graduate. Chris Benintendi’s sister, Kelly Benintendi, still holds the all-time scoring record at Georgetown High School with 2,366 points. Chris Benintendi played baseball at Georgetown and played baseball at Wittenberg University in the mid 1980s.
In addition to Benintendi, another local product was drafted in Monday’s first round of the MLB Draft. University of Cincinnati junior outfielder Ian Happ was taken with the ninth overall selection in the draft by the Chicago Cubs. In 2015, Happ rose to stardom, hitting .369 with 14 home runs, 44 RBIs, 49 walks, a .672 slugging percentage, an on-base percentage of .492, and 12 stolen bases out of 20 attempted.
Happ was named the American Athletic Conference (AAC) Player of the Year and led the league in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, total bases (133), and walks. Happ is the highest draft pick in Bearcats’ program history.