Arkansas Razorback sophomore outfielder Andrew Benintendi became the eighth first-round pick in program history Monday evening when he was selected seventh overall by the Boston Red Sox in the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Benintendi becomes the third-highest MLB draft pick in school history, behind Jeff King going No. 1 overall in 1986 and Kevin McReynolds at No. 6 overall in 1981.
A native of Cincinnati, Benintendi is the first SEC Player of the Year and National Player of the Year in program history, cementing himself as one of the top players in the long list of legends to play at the University of Arkansas.
Benintendi is on the brink of becoming the third player in SEC history to lead the league in home runs and batting average. He leads the league by one home run and is holding a 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 slugger is not only tied for the national lead in home runs with 19, but is also on pace to post the highest batting average at Arkansas since Zack Cox set the record at .429 during the 2010 season.
Already named the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year, Benintendi is also up for the two biggest awards in the game, as one of four finalists for the Golden Spikes Award and one of five remaining candidates for the Dick Howser Trophy.
Benintendi will continue his Arkansas tenure this weekend as the Razorbacks are making their eighth trip to the College World Series, where they will take on Virginia in the opening round.