The Boston Red Sox announced late Wednesday night that MLB.com and Baseball America’a top prospect, Yoan Moncada will be called up for Friday’s game against the Oakland Athletics. Moncada for a year or two has been touted as the next coming for the Red Sox organization and as I wrote about earlier this summer, the jolt that Red Sox and Yankees rivalry needs.
Yoan is a five tool talent (fielding still needs a little work) that the Red Sox signed via international free agency back in the March of 2015. Known for his speed and smooth switch-hitting swing, Yoan has drawn comparisons to Mike Trout, Manny Machado and Alex Rodriguez among others.
The 2016 Futures Game MVP will skip Triple-A Pawtucket just like Andrew Benintendi and other prospects around the league, for example Dansby Swanson. The tricky dilemma with a generational talent like Yoan Moncada is how to get him some experience without rushing him to the majors. Obviously he’ll need to hit the ground running eventually but the last thing you want is a bad call up stint to affect his confidence. I personally think the time is right to call up Yoan.
A month or so stint in the bigs can work wonders for prospects, Mike Trout was called up by the Angels for 40 games towards the end of the 2011 season. Trout batted a measly 0.220 with 30 strikeouts in those first 40 games but we all know how he bounced back in his official rookie season (0.326 AVG / 30 HR / 49 SB / 0.564 SLG). I’m not trying to set low expectations for Yoan Moncada because I think he’ll do just fine this September and beyond, but I am saying to not get too frustrated if his production isn’t there just yet.
In the minors this year split throughout Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland, Yoan has played 105 games. In those 105 games, Moncada batted 0.298, slugged 0.518, clubbed 15 home runs, stole 45 bases, hit 6 triples and drove in 61 runs. Only time will tell if Yoan is ready for the show but he will definitely get the opportunity to earn everyday playing time.
Moncada is a second baseman but as I said in my first article ever, he is destined (short-term at least) for third base. Moncada boasts the frame and quickness necessary for a third baseman and has been working on the transition with the Red Sox coaching staff (the same coaches that helped Xander transition to third base early in his career).
With Travis Shaw and Aaron Hill not running away with the everyday starting job, Moncada could slide into a starting role if he finds early success. Similar to Xander Bogaerts in 2013, who kind of took over third base from Will Middlebrooks late in the season and throughout the playoffs, Yoan Moncada will get that same opportunity.
I for one would not be shocked if Yoan Moncada was suited up in Boston Red Sox duds, manning the hot corner late in October on a cold fall night at Fenway Park.
Cover Photo via Today’s Knuckleball
GIF via MLB.com