By Joe Manny Hernandez @manny_sportss
Organization: Boston Red Sox
Current Team: Portland Seadogs
Signed: February 23, 2015
Signing Bonus: 31.5 Million
Yoan Moncada made a splash in Major League Baseball even before he was signed by any team. A young and talented prospect defecting from Cuba at the age of 19, Moncada was seen as a highly talented defensive shortstop with power and the ability to hit for average, making him a hot commodity for any team to sign. The Boston Red Sox were the winning bidder signing Moncada to a 31.5 million dollar signing bonus, triumphing over the 8 million dollars given to fellow Cuban native Yoan Lopez by the Diamondbacks.
Yoan Moncada is seen as a traditional five-tool player which means he has power, ability to make contact, speed, great glove work and has strong arm. Moncada has the ability to play any infield positions especially up the middle at shortstop and second base, which is critical in a Boston line up with so many above average positions players available. In his first full season in the minor leagues Moncada hit .307 with 4 HR’s, 34 RBIs and 36 SB. Although the power has yet to develop, Moncada has age (21) on his side and has plenty of time to sharpen his abilities. He is seen as a strong leadoff or No. 2 in the batting order and should make a splash at the big league level sooner than later.
As for comparisons two players come to mind, one would be young shortstop Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros. They are both smooth defensive players who can save multiple runs up the middle and to their left side. They also offer good at-bats and the ability to make contact in any count and keep their teams in close games. The other player the comes to mind will be Ben Zobrist. Moncada like Zobrist offers versatility to any club he joins. He can play any position in the infield and also has the athleticism to move to the outfield although the Red Sox plan on keeping him an infielder. Don't be surprised if you see this young infielder in the big leagues soon. Moncada can be knocking on the door of The Show batting .289 in Double A this year.