The sting of an 0-for-5 night and Subway Series defeat was somewhat lessened for Aaron Judge by news of the Yankees newest acquisition.
Judge was effusive in his praise after the Yankees landed All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for three minor league pitchers.
“He’s a really good player,” Judge, who stranded five runners and struck out three times against the Mets, said of Benintendi. “I’ve had a chance to play against him for quite a few years when he was playing over in Boston. I’ve seen a lot of impressive things. … He’ll definitely be a big piece to what we got going on here.”
Benintendi played for the Red Sox from 2016-2020 and was a member of the 2018 World Series champs that took down the Yankees in four games in the ALDS.
For Judge, it’s the left-handed outfielder’s reliable bat that stands out the most.
“Bat-to-ball skills, speed, always works good at-bats and then, if you’re not too careful, he can leave the yard on you. I’ve seen it many times at Yankee Stadium,” Judge said. “He’s just a well-rounded player, that’s for sure.”
Benintendi is having a standout season in Kansas City, boasting a .320/.387/.432 slash line over 93 games. While his power and pop off the bat leave much to be desired — the 28-year-old has three home runs and a career-low 4.4% barrel rate — Benintendi sports elite bat-to-ball skills and will help balance the Yankees’ power-heavy lineup.
Benintendi’s addition is a much-needed boost for the Yankees, who have struggled in July after dominating the early part of the season atop the AL East. Their 3-2 loss to the Mets on Wednesday marked their 10th defeat in 15 games.
“I think adding a guy like that would definitely give us a little pump up,” Judge said. “I think he’s gonna fit right in.”
The move is the Yankees’ first big splash of MLB trade deadline week, though likely not their last. The club has also had their eye on other difference-makers, such as starting pitchers Frankie Montas and Luis Castillo.
As for Benintendi, his first time giving the pinstripes will likely come against a familiar foe — the Royals and Yankees begin a four-game series on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.