No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada is coming, and here's what Red Sox fans can expect from him
It's official, guys.
21-year-old Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, MLB Pipeline's No. 1 prospect, will be in uniform for the Red Sox on Friday when the team takes on the A's. How should Boston prepare? Is the Green Monster safe? Will Jerry Remy call him Yoan Moncahder?
All of your answers are below.
No. 1 tool: He's really, really fast
Moncada's scouting report cites that he has "above-average speed" and lists him at a 65 grade. To put this into game-ready terms, the infielder stole 94 bases in just 186 Minor League games over the last two years. He was only caught 15 times. If you don't believe how fast he is, watch him hit an inside-the-park home run while playing for Class A Greenville in 2015. As we mentioned when we wrote the post, this GIF has not been sped up.
Player comparison: "Robinson Cano, with more speed"
Again, that's straight out of his MLB.com scouting report. Scouts seem to think he's a 15-homer guy, who can eventually hit about 20-25 as he gets older. As a 21-year-old, he hit 15 this year between Class A Advanced and Double-A, while the 22-year-old Cano homered 14 times during his rookie season with the Yankees. Judging by his MVP Award-winning performance in this year's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, though, something tells us he may be conquering that dinger curve a bit earlier:
The Red Sox will ask the second baseman to play some third base for the time being. His defense is rated at average, but fortunately his great arm strength, range and quickness should help him make the transition easier than most. Also, speaking of that Cano comparison -- look familiar?
He's hit at every level he's played
He slashed at a .283/.414/.348 clip as a 17-year-old in the Cuban National Series, slugged 8 homers with 38 RBIs and a .278/.380/.438 line as a 20-year-old in 81 Class A Greenville games, he held a .928 OPS with 15 dingers and 61 RBIs in 400 MiLB at-bats this year. He dominated the competition while playing for national teams in Cuba as a teenager, batting .500 one year and .434 the next. He's improved at nearly every level he's advanced to and it's hard to think he can't continue that progress at the next (at least, the Red Sox hope so):
His superhuman strength and dashing good looks may demand a statue outside Fenway Park
I mean, c'mon.
If every Bostonian isn't asking their barbers for that haircut by the end of September, then there's something wrong. And, as we've highlighted before, Yoan Moncada is more muscle than man.
And yes, those can also be useful in launching dingers, throwing baseballs across the diamond and any and all of the other baseball skillsets above. So, get ready, Boston -- this weekend should be fun.