BOSTON -- Don't discount the possibility that top prospect Andrew Benintendi could help the Boston Red Sox this season.
Two weeks after declaring that Benintendi isn't ready for a big league call-up, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski praised the 22-year-old outfielder's progress while reiterating that he isn't averse to calling up a player directly from Double-A.
"He's played very well, but I wouldn't get into individual cases [for promotions]," Dombrowski said Saturday at Fenway Park. "I've never felt that Triple-A is really a necessity with good players. I've jumped many guys from Double-A in my career."
Benintendi, the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft who will represent the Red Sox on Sunday in the annual Futures Game in San Diego, is batting .288 with six homers and an .844 OPS in 47 games since getting promoted to Double-A Portland. After a slow start, he's 35-for-99 (.354) with a 1.086 OPS in his past 27 games.
Left field has been a revolving door for the Red Sox. Brock Holt recently returned from a concussion only to sprain his left ankle on a slide Friday night. Veteran outfielder Chris Young (strained right hamstring) and converted catcher Blake Swihart (sprained left ankle) remain several weeks from returning from the disabled list, leaving Bryce Brentz as the healthiest option.
But while Dombrowski has acted decisively over the past few days to acquire a right-handed hitter for the bench (Aaron Hill) and another late-inning reliever (Brad Ziegler), he isn't prioritizing outside help for left field, perhaps a sign that the Red Sox believe Benintendi is getting closer to being ready for the big leagues.
"The reality is, I think our offense is pretty good, so that's not really a priority," Dombrowski said. "We also have young kids coming. We've got a kid like Benintendi coming. I don't know if it's this year or next year, but you're not looking to necessarily get a long-term guy out there because we're pretty deep with those young outfielders."