Minor League Road Trip, Day 4: Meeting Yoan Moncada and bat flipping in the Atlantic Ocean
It's been roughly 16 months since the Boston Red Sox gave international man of mystery/generational infield prospect Yoan Moncada a $31.5 million signing bonus, adding him to their already-loaded farm system. An outstanding debut last year in Class A (.278/.380/.438, 49/52 on stolen bases) quelled doubts about whether his talent was merely hype. The switch-hitting second baseman ranks as MLB Pipeline's No. 5 prospect, and was promoted to Double-A Portland about a week before we were scheduled to be at Boston's Maine affiliate.
As excited as we were to see the 21-year-old Cuban play baseball, we were just as eager to find out more about his off-the-field life. With the help of his translating teammate (and No. 13 Red Sox prospect) Mauricio Dubon, he sat down with us for a few minutes before Saturday's game -- check out that interview up above.
We also chatted with Portland Sea Dogs outfielder Cody Decker. Off the field Decker is known for his vivacious social media presence and his outstanding videography skills. He's also that dude who convinced Jeff Francoeur that one of their other teammates was deaf. We talked to him about that and more and more and also more:
While Decker is among the most entertaining guys we've talked to in a while, Sea Dogs pitcher Mike McCarthy was easily the kindest. McCarthy does a ton of charity work with an organization called Baseball Miracles that provides baseball equipment to kids in underprivileged areas. He's gone to South Africa, Honduras, and Kenya bringing the wonders of baseball to youths who wouldn't otherwise get the chance to play. Check his organization out here.
What a saint. We've been trying to give professional baseball players old BESR bats, he brought entire crates of baseball equipment to underprivileged children in Honduras. Life is weird. Be more like Mike McCarthy. Be less like us.
A Baseball Game Appeared
Fightin Phils 8, Sea Dogs 9: The Cubs and Phillies are having similar seasons. Not the Philadelphia Phillies, the Reading Fightin Phils that is. The atmosphere around the Double-A affiliate reminded us quite a bit of the environment that Joe Maddon and crew have fostered in Chicago. Not only does Reading sport the best record in professional baseball, they're clearly having a ball doing it. Outfielder Dylan Cozens is enormous and can't stop hitting. First baseman Rhys Hoskins is the truth and leads the entire Minors in dingers. Jorge Alfaro is the most athletic catcher in the minors and put one over the monster in center. Get hyped Phillies fans, help is on the way.
Admission: We missed Nate Freiman's go-ahead three-run blastoise in the eighth inning that gave the Sea Dogs a dramatic 9-8 victory, because we left early to go fulfill a dream.
Some people dream of doing great, important, and meaningful things with their lives. Us? We dream of bat flipping in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans... on the same... dang... trip.
Yesterday we completed half of that goal as I spazzed my way into the frigid waters of Portland, Maine. Though I have no regrets about my bat flipping escapades, I now know why there were no other people in the water. It was like that Dwyane Wade Gatorade commercial where the balls are actually just ice.
Atlantic Ocean bat flip (Pacific Ocean bat flip coming in a few weeks) https://t.co/B1Yk3UqEPb- Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) June 26, 2016
- Jake tried to swim to San Diego and failed.
- We had an awesome dinner at Frank Pepe's Pizzeria in New Haven, Connecticut. Go eat there.
Where We Woke Up: Manchester, N.H.
Where We Slept: Westchester, N.Y.
Miles Driven: 392
Miles Driven To-Date: 1,161
Time in Car: 6:58
Time in Car to-date: 20:50
MORE PHILLIES PROSPECTS. *AIR HORN AIR HORN AIR HORN* We're going to Lehigh Valley to see JP Crawford, Nick Williams, Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, and the rest of the IronPigs. Probably going to have some bacon there too. Probably not going to jump into an ocean, though. Every day is a new challenge.