SARASOTA, Fla. — The swing that resulted in a moonshot home run that landed some 50 feet behind the 374 marker on the right-center field wall at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday wasn’t even one of Andrew Benintendi’s best this spring.

It paled in comparison to a juicy swing he put on a double off Bud Norris in Friday’s game against St. Louis. And considering he’s 7 for 14 with two homers and at least one hit in each of the five games he’s played this spring, there have been plenty of pretty swings to choose from.

But the hack that resulted in a monster shot off Orioles righty Gabriel Ynoa Sunday began too early and didn’t feel quite right.

“I think I felt a little out front but was able to stay back enough,” said Benintendi, the Boston Red Sox outfielder. “But I’ll take that.”

Maybe last year that same swing would’ve resulted in a fly ball. Or maybe it would’ve been hit to center or left.

The 20 pounds of weight and extra muscle he added this offseason has resulted in a stronger player.

“Yeah even (Sunday) I felt like I was out in front on that, I didn’t think I got all of it and it still went out by a good bit,” he said. “I can definitely tell the difference.”

Benintendi then sat down and opened up a box of Popeyes chicken.

“Eat up, kid,” should be the Red Sox’s motto.

With about three weeks to go before they open the regular season, a bulked-up Benintendi thinks he’s “almost” in midseason form. He wants to see different counts and test himself in various scenarios. But the swing looks just fine.

It’s when Benintendi swings that is of particular interest to him.

His homer came on a 0-0 count. It was a high pitch but a tempting one, and he took a good whack at it.

Last year, he put the first pitch into play 62 times, most on the Red Sox. And that’s with his old approach, one he considered to be too patient.

“Last year was probably the most patient I’ve ever been,” Benintendi said. “Usually, even throughout the minors and college, I was always swinging early in the count. I think it was more the situation I was in that my approach might have been to see more pitches, maybe move the ball around somewhere. I think this year I’m going to get some early.”

Benintendi drew 70 walks to go with his 112 strikeouts in 2017. Compared to 2016, his walk rate jumped from 8 percent to 10, while his strikeout rate fell from 21 percent to 17.

His walk rate in the minors in 2016 was only 9 percent.

The patience was strategic, he said.

“Say a guy is on second base with nobody on, I’m going to try to pull the ball,” he said. “If I get two fastballs on the outer half that I can’t pull, I’ll let them go and then you just have to battle and get him over or something.

“Especially for me last year I felt like I was down 1-2, 0-2 a lot. Being more aggressive early in the count will give me another shot of driving the ball. It’s definitely something I’m going to do this year for sure.”

With a more aggressive mindset, he could be better prepared to pounce on the first pitch. He hit .279 with a .750 OPS on the first pitch last year, but the major league average on the first pitch was .348 with a .941 OPS.

And while he finished with a solid 20-20 season in which he got on base at a .352 clip and had a .776 OPS overall, the Red Sox think bigger numbers could be on the way with an eye on attacking early in the count.

His first-pitch dinger Sunday was just the beginning for a player who should be hitting second and playing left field on most days for new manager Alex Cora.

“We talk about it,” Cora said. “He took the first one in the first at-bat and it was a similar pitch we saw in Jupiter (against the Cardinals), and he was upset at himself because it was a good pitch to hit. The next one he saw it and put a good swing on it.

“That’s what we’re talking about. It’s about being aggressive in the strike zone. If it’s a pitch you can handle and drive, go for it.”