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Pounding the Table for Andrew Benintendi

There are multiple reasons to want Benintendi that dive way deeper than the surface.

Last year, the Astros employed an interesting strategy with the later rounds by drafting an unusually high number of Junior College players. So far, it hasn't worked out but that's cause it's a small sample and they are on average younger than their leagues because they were drafted as freshman or sophomores as opposed to juniors. In 2012, Carlos Correa was their top pick and word is that the fact he was significantly younger than his peers. There's lots of research backing that up. That's worked out quite well.

You have similar situations in college where there are draft-eligible sophomores based on their birthday. With Correa vs. Byron Buxton, Correa was nine months younger. You're unlikely to run across that much an extreme with draft-eligible sophomores, but you can get close. Andrew Benintendi is the SEC Player of the Year this season despite being a sophomore. He beat out Dansby Swanson who is likely to be the top pick in the draft and he is five months younger. D.J. Stewart is one of the best college hitters out there and Benintendi is seven months younger.

He has just two years experience of college ball and one was uninspiring. But this season he's been a monster. He spent a lot of time in the weight room and added power that has turned him into a monster at the plate. He brings power, speed, hitting ability, and fielding to the table. Plus, he drew more walks than he struck out this season He lacks the arm to play RF but he could be an average CFer and possibly have the bat to be a high-OBP with average power LFer.

The advanced projection systems like him as well. Many of you are probably familiar with the KATOH system for projecting minor league players, but it's also been modified for college players. This is first time it's been done and the initial results are that Benintendi will produce the second most WAR through his age 28 season. He only trails LSU's Alex Bregman. He's projected to have 2.5 more WAR than Swanson.

Age. Tools. Skills. Up the middle defense. Sign me up.