Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers. He and his wife live in Fayetteville.
Benintendi will attend Arkansas
Andrew Benintendi set Ohio career records for hits and runs scored as a senior.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas outfield signee Andrew Benintendi will play for the Razorbacks next season, turning down an offer to play minor league baseball for the Cincinnati Reds.
Benintendi was selected in the 31st round by the Reds last weekend, but he has informed the team he will attend college, said his father, Chris Benintendi. The younger Benintendi will go through freshman orientation at the UA beginning next Monday.
As a senior at Madeira High School just outside Cincinnati, Benintendi batted .562 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs. He also stole 37 bases and was named the Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year after setting state records for career hits and runs scored.
Benintendi is one two rated in Baseball America's top 500 draft eligible players who will attend Arkansas next season. Right-handed pitcher Dominic Taccolini, a Sugar Land, Texas native, went undrafted. Taccolini was a member of the 18-and-under USA National Team last summer.
Pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz, who signed with Arkansas last November, signed a pro deal earlier this week with the Boston Red Sox for a reported $1.1 million. Catcher signee Jon Denney, a third round pick of the Red Sox, is also expected to sign a pro contract.
Stankiewicz and Denney are expected to be the only Arkansas signees to skip college. The Razorbacks' recent signing classes have been cherry-picked by pro teams, with Arkansas losing four signees in 2010 and 2011, and three last year to minor league baseball.