TORONTO -- The Boston Red Sox made it official Tuesday, announcing they had signed the first two players they selected in the 2015 draft: outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the University of Arkansas and catcher Austin Rei from the University of Washington.
Benintendi, 20, was the seventh player chosen overall and winner of both the 2015 Golden Spikes Award, recognizing the top amateur baseball player in the country, and the Dick Howser Award, given to the player chosen as the nation’s best college player. The left-handed hitting Benintendi, a sophomore, led the SEC in batting average (.380), home runs (20), on-base percentage (.489), slugging (.715) and walks (47). He became the first college baseball player to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in a season since 2009.
The right-handed hitting Rei (pronounced RYE), 21, was taken in the third round and 81st overall. He is regarded as one of the top defensive catchers in the country, though he was limited to 25 games this year due to an injury to his left thumb.
Both players were signed to the figures slotted for their placement in the draft, a team source said. Benintendi signed for a $3,590,400 bonus, Rei for $742,000. Jim Callis of MLB.com was the first to report both signings. Both players are expected to begin their pro careers with Class A Lowell in the short-season New York-Penn League.
So far, the Red Sox have signed 24 of their 39 selections in the draft, including 13 of the club’s 14 picks within the top 15 rounds.