According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, 19-year-old Cuban sensation Yoan Moncada is “very close” to finally leaving extended spring training and getting his first taste of minor league baseball down in -A Greenville.
It was almost three months ago now that the Boston Red Sox signed Yoan to a $31.5 million dollar signing bonus. The hype surrounding Moncada seemed to catch the attention of baseball fans all over, as scouts across the league began to pencil him in as one of the top ten prospects in all of baseball. Originally, many people thought Moncada would be in minor-league game action by now, but after being out of competitive play for more than a year, it took some time for him to get back into the swing of the swings both offensively and defensively. It didn’t help that he suffered a minor shoulder strain while sliding into second base either, but now that he is finally healthy, it’s time to see what this teenager can do in pro ball.
It’s easy to understand why scouts look at Yoan Moncada as such a prize, the chance to grab a 5 tool player doesn’t come along too often, especially at the age of just 19. What caught most people off guard about Moncada was the fact that his body was already filled out and mature. He’s listed at a fit 6’2″ and 205 pounds. Not to mention, it has been reported that he has continued to add even more muscle to his figure, something that will definitely help him withstand the rigors of his first minor-league season.
The timetable for Yoan to reach the majors is still a very tough one to judge, as he is beginning his American baseball career as a second baseman. But he’ll likely move positions as he comes up through minor-league ball. In the past, he has played third base, shortstop, and even a little outfield, which shows the overall athleticism he has. Finding out where he is going to fit at the major-league level isn’t important now though, his ETA is 2017 and who knows where the Red Sox might be at that point. But with a plate approach like he has, it won’t surprise anyone if he doesn’t scuffle while moving up the minor-league chain.
Raw talents are always interesting to watch because you never know when they might put it all together. Moncada has already put his game together prior to his 20th birthday. The transition to American ball has caused many prospects to struggle. But with guys like Luis Tiant and Rusney Castillo there to help Yoan if need be, he’ll be able to overcome whatever comes him way.