Yoan Moncada

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Yoan Moncada
Born May 27, 1995
(age 19 when signed)
Listed at 6'2", 205.
 
Switch hitter. Has mostly played second base, but has also played third, short, and the outfield.
 
Signed a $31.5 million bonus as a free agent:
http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/12475871/boston-red-sox-introduce-cuban-prospect-yoan-moncada
 
Jim Callis on MLB.com calls him "the most exciting teenaged prospect to leave Cuba since Jorge Soler."
 
Callis ranks his tools:
 
Hitting: 60
"A switch-hitter, Moncada generates tremendous bat speed and consistently barrels the ball from both sides of the plate."
 
Power: 60
"Solidly built at 6-foot, 210 pounds, Moncada has strength to go with his lightning bat speed. He also has demonstrated the patience to wait out pitchers who won't challenge him, and he should be able to fully tap into his plus raw power. Moncada should be good for 20-25 homers annually, once he gets established in the Majors."
 
Running: 65
"Moncada usually clocks in at around 6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash, with some scouts timing him faster than that and willing to give him 70 speed. He outran Rusney Castillo, who signed a $72.5 million contract (the biggest outlay ever for a Cuban defector) with the Red Sox in August, to win races to first base and around the bases at Cuba's 2012-13 All-Star Game."
 
Throwing: 60
"While the consensus is that Moncada has a fourth plus tool in his arm strength, grades vary anywhere from a 55 to a 70. The bottom line is that his arm works well and would fit anywhere on the diamond."
 
Fielding: 50
"Moncada has more than enough range and the hands for second and third base, his main positions in Cuba and his likely home in the big leagues. He has seen action at shortstop, though he looked uncomfortable there during a heavily attended workout in Guatemala in November and is unlikely to get deployed there. Moncada also has spent time in center field, where his speed and arm would work well."
 
Overall: 65
"If he were eligible for the 2015 First-Year Player Draft, Moncada would be a strong contender to go No. 1 overall to the D-backs. His overall 65 grade would place him among the top dozen prospects in baseball right now, and it's arguably a bit conservative, because teams haven't had the chance to evaluate him against much quality competition. Only the first three players on the Top 100 earned overall 70s: Buxton, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant and Correa."
 
Moncada is the #9 overall prospect in baseball according to MLB.com. He started the season in extended spring training. In his first at-bat, he smashed a stand-up triple.
 
From that article:
"In addition to catching up on his baseball skills, Moncada said he has been taking three English classes a week. Those classes are not as easily available in Greenville, S.C., where the Red Sox likely will send Moncada to their low Class A affiliate, the Greenville Drive, when they deem him ready."
 

oumbi

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Update on Moncada. He has played 12 games and has a slash line of .250/.340.386 and an OPS of .726. He also has 1 double, 1 triple, and 1 HR. In 44 AB he has struck out 12 times and walked 4 times.
 
But what stood out to me was his fielding. At the moment, I would hate to see him playing in the same infield as Sandoval. Moncada has somehow managed to make 7 errors in his 9 games at 2B.
 

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oumbi said:
Update on Moncada. He has played 12 games and has a slash line of .250/.340.386 and an OPS of .726. He also has 1 double, 1 triple, and 1 HR. In 44 AB he has struck out 12 times and walked 4 times.
 
But what stood out to me was his fielding. At the moment, I would hate to see him playing in the same infield as Sandoval. Moncada has somehow managed to make 7 errors in his 9 games at 2B.
Any idea if most are fielding or throwing?
 

oumbi

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I looked at the box scores and found that the first two errors in his career were listed as "fielding." Every error since those (that is, errors 3 through 7) are listed as "throw."
 
I also found that fielding in general does not seem to be an area of elite skill in Greensville. They regularly rack up 1 to 2 errors a game. Maybe that is the norm at that level. Chavis has something like 12 errors so far.
 

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Ryan Hannable gives an update on Moncada on WEEI's site.
 
So far: "posting a slash line of .220/.312/.317, while committing nine errors in 16 games in the field."
 
But don't worry much about the errors: "The errors have stood out, as making nine in 16 games is a pretty alarming number. Fenster believes this will take care of its self with Moncada’s early work and getting back to playing a fundamentally sound second base.
“I think just the consistency of defense mechanics that we’re trying to get him in,” Fenster said. “If he gets five groundballs we’re trying to get him to stay consistent with how he’s going after those five. This is one of the better athletes that is in professional baseball right now and when you have a guy who is athletic as he is, sometimes those guys rely on their athletic ability to play."
 

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I think we've seen with X this year that defensive improvement is definitely a possibility, especially for good athletes.  This kid is only 20, so I'm not terribly concerned about it at this point.  Also, wasn't he out of the game for a year?  It could just be the yips being back on a competitive field after that time off.
 

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nattysez said:
Moncada in July:
 
52 AB, .365 AVG, 3 HR, 1.106 OPS
 
He just hit an inside-the-park HR.  That's three games in a row with a HR.
 
Now at .273 with a .788 OPS for the year.
 
The only surprising thing is that it took this long for him to start dominating.   The Cuban leagues are a heck of a lot better than the Sally League, and he put up amazing numbers there for a teenager.  It just shows how hard it is to step back in against top competition after a long time off.    I imagine he'll be in Salem soon, which is still probably a notch below what he's used to.  
 

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Marciano490 said:
Is that sped up or is he really that fast?
 
Given that extrapolating his second to third time in that clip (~2.36 seconds) over 100 meters would result in a time of roughly 8.6 seconds, I'm going to guess it's sped up.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e-TXWIf_DE
 

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His second out was a loud 400 footer to the track in straightaway.

The double in the 1st was on the first pitch and was hit about 410 feet. He cranked the shit out of it.

He definitely has a Manny feel to him.
 

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Single the last inning was hit hard as shit and he just ended the top of the 5th with a highlight diving stab to his right.
 

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Faster than a speeding bullet...
 
Look!  Up in the sky, it's a diving Yoan Moncada!
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KG26PnViuc
 

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Tangled Up In Red said:
Still playing at 2B?
Yup.

It was Moncada/Chavis/Devers leading off which was awesome in that it didn't just satisfy and organizational desire to increase at bats for the prize rookies but made total sense for the team as well.

Devers was freaking awesome too. Hit to all fields, was patient, made an incredible play at third as well. He's young though and has nowhere the gravitas that Moncada has. Devers kind of looks and acts like Adrian Beltre's dorky illegitimate kid. Moncada is the guy who has the stadium hush when he gets up, even for the people who really didn't know who he was.

I just moved down here yesterday and I'm going to be going back tonight. I expected to have fun watching him which is why I obviously prioritized seeing him and the team first thing. What I didn't expect was that Manny feel.... We had been up since 3am and my wife (who stayed back) starting texting me to bring my 8 year old son home around 8:15. I was beat as shit but we stuck around for another inning just to catch Moncada, who was leading off the next inning. It's amazing how much I've missed Appointment At-Bats.
 

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Hee Sox Choi said:
Faster than a speeding bullet...
 
Look!  Up in the sky, it's a diving Yoan Moncada!
 
Love that Greenville announcer. He's like a cartoon. Holy Cow!
 

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My buddy is at the Charleston/Greenville game tonight (in Charleston) and just texted me that it looks like Moncada left the game with what appeared to be a hamstring issue.
 

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I feel like I see HBP a LOT in the box scores. Looking it up 8 (or 9 as I think they are missing last night) that seems a lot in 50 games. Does he crowd the plate a lot?
 

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So when does he get promoted? It would be great to see him finish in Salem.
 

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LondonSox said:
I feel like I see HBP a LOT in the box scores. Looking it up 8 (or 9 as I think they are missing last night) that seems a lot in 50 games. Does he crowd the plate a lot?
Think Manny - so he doesn't necessarily crowd but he's never one to get out of the way of a pitch coming right at him
 

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Though, to bring up an earlier point without belaboring it, in 47 games at second base, he has made 18 errors. Lots of factors could cause these errors and I am not drawing conclusions or passing judgement. But I am thinking that if he doesn't improve then 2B may not be the best position for him. 
 

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oumbi said:
Though, to bring up an earlier point without belaboring it, in 47 games at second base, he has made 18 errors. Lots of factors could cause these errors and I am not drawing conclusions or passing judgement. But I am thinking that if he doesn't improve then 2B may not be the best position for him. 
At age 19, Derek Jeter had 56 errors in 126 games at SS.  Plenty of time for Moncada to get his sh*t together, especially after having missed a year of playing beisbol.
 

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So Pedroia's 38 in 2021 when his contract expires. Moncada will be 26. Betts 28. Ortiz 112.
 
Too long to wait on Moncada, right? I assume they're transitioning him to outfield at some point?
 

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AlNipper49 said:
Think Manny - so he doesn't necessarily crowd but he's never one to get out of the way of a pitch coming right at him
The ball probably gets bruised in that exchange.
 

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geoduck no quahog said:
So Pedroia's 38 in 2021 when his contract expires. Moncada will be 26. Betts 28. Ortiz 112.
 
Too long to wait on Moncada, right? I assume they're transitioning him to outfield at some point?
My recollection from around when he was signing is that lots of people assumed he might end up at 3b instead.  At this point, seems like the Sox are more likely to have an opening there than 2b.
 

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finnVT said:
My recollection from around when he was signing is that lots of people assumed he might end up at 3b instead.  At this point, seems like the Sox are more likely to have an opening there than 2b.
 
Except that right now Devers seems like the better prospect.
 

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AlNipper49 said:
 
Except that right now Devers seems like the better prospect.
 
Though reports are that Devers has shown impressive agility and and good arm at 3b, it's no guarantee he sticks at 3b. He's stayed in good physical shape this year, but his build may require him to move across the diamond. 
 
Moncada at 3b makes some sense because he's got a plus arm that's basically wasted at 2b. He could also play the OF. 
 
The Sox have some interesting decisions to make with respect to "redundant" talent in the minors right now.
 
There's 3b: Devers, Moncada, and to a lesser extent Chavis (and to an even lesser extent Cecchini and Coyle) all playing behind Pablo.
Then there's the OF: Margot and Benintendi playing behind some combo of Betts, Ramirez, Castillo, and Bardley
 
I'm thinking we're going to see some trades to balance this out. Margot seems the mostly likely to go.  
 

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billy ashley said:
The Sox have some interesting decisions to make with respect to "redundant" talent in the minors right now.
 
There's 3b: Devers, Moncada, and to a lesser extent Chavis (and to an even lesser extent Cecchini and Coyle) all playing behind Pablo.
Then there's the OF: Margot and Benintendi playing behind some combo of Betts, Ramirez, Castillo, and Bardley
 
I'm thinking we're going to see some trades to balance this out. Margot seems the mostly likely to go.  
Devers, Moncada, Margot, and Benintendi are so far away that it's silly to worry about this. Most likely, not all of these guys will pan out. If they somehow all do succeed and the timing is such that the Sox can't fit them in everywhere at the major league level, that's the time to think about dealing from depth - but who even knows what the major league squad will look like at that point?
 

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Yeah, I've been assuming Devers eventually moves over to 1b, which (if everything goes according to plan, and yes, that's a giant if) could lead to a Devers-Pedroia-X-Moncada infield (circa 2018/19).  If any of Guerra, Chavis, Shaw, Travis, Rijo, etc work out, that much better, and some become useful trading chips.
 
Those Greenville reports are gold these days for thinking about future IF combinations.
 

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finnVT said:
Yeah, I've been assuming Devers eventually moves over to 1b, which (if everything goes according to plan, and yes, that's a giant if) could lead to a Devers-Pedroia-X-Moncada infield (circa 2018/19).  If any of Guerra, Chavis, Shaw, Travis, Rijo, etc work out, that much better, and some become useful trading chips.
 
Those Greenville reports are gold these days for thinking about future IF combinations.
 
Yeah I'm guessing that if Devers continues to trend in that way that his upside would be a Youks type 1bman
 
I always hate seeing skill positions transfer to 1B or the OF, even if I know it's the right thing to do
 

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I know we're getting way ahead of ourselves, but I'd probably prefer to see Moncada move to right field and to keep Devers at third for as long as Devers can handle the hot corner. His bat is so much more valuable there, and Moncada has the athleticism to cover right, and the arm to suppress the running game that someone like Mookie lacks. Devers at third, Moncada in right, Mookie in left and one of Margot, Benintendi, JBJ or Castillo in center would be an ideal way for this to shake out, IMO.
 
Of course, Pedroia could dive head first into the first base bag and dislocate his soul next season and open second base back up for Moncada and this will all be a moot point. Long way to go before any of this is anything resembling a problem.
 

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If they're going to move Moncada off 2nd base, why wouldn't they try him in center at first?  Margot is in AA so there's plenty of room in Salem for him - the current OF are Cole Sturgeon, Forrest Allday and Kevin Heller; not exactly guys blocking his path.
 
Regarding a switch generally, feels like the best course of action is just to keep him at 2nd through the rest of the year, then see in the offseason how he might handle a switch of positions to center.
 

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I would leave him at second base and if it gets to the point that he is ready for the majors you try him at a new position in AAA.  
 
Moving guys around based on the needs of the major league team when they are in A ball is silly.  They should play the best position they can until they can't, so to speak.  No reason not to give him some reps around the diamond, but he's better off playing full-time 2B until it's a problem.
 

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smastroyin said:
I would leave him at second base and if it gets to the point that he is ready for the majors you try him at a new position in AAA.  
 
Moving guys around based on the needs of the major league team when they are in A ball is silly.  They should play the best position they can until they can't, so to speak.  No reason not to give him some reps around the diamond, but he's better off playing full-time 2B until it's a problem.
This has to be the right answer.
Keep guys at the highest level on the defensive spectrum that they can handle. If it comes to crunch time on the MLB roster worry about it then. Either then move them off or trade them with the highest possible value to fill a different position of need.
 

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I've seen him play in person about five times now.  I've also made a few friends at the ballpark who have seen him more frequently than I. I thin that the 18 errors are not tremendously concerning
 
- he's gotten better as the season has gone along
- he's made some incredible plays, he definitely has the ability
- the errors seem tlike the ones someone would make who was learning a position versus things like lack of range, an inclination towards boneheaded plays, etc.  I don't want to shoehorn it into the lazy argument that his first half a year was all adjustment.  It was but you can't ignore it either.  But I'd be more inclined to plug his defense into the "getting settled" argument than his hitting.  Again, from a small sample size.
 
With that said, he'll never be a (legitimate) Gold Glover.  
 

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Responding to Super Nomario but my tablet's  not capturing the quote. Will likely edit later:
 
I don't want to get too far off topic but:
 
You're of course right, we should expect some attrition but I think we're looking at a log jam of top tier prospects, sooner rather than later. While Benintendi, Devers and Moncada are all pretty far away, all 3 of them will likely be in Salem to start next season. There's obviously risk associated with prospects who haven't made the huge leap to AA but we're already starting to see crowding at some positions. Outside of 1b, things are looking pretty crowded in the infield.
 
2B:
 
Moncada- a consensus top 20 talent even if he was more raw/rusty than most people expected going into this season. He may have to move to 3b or the outfield. Will probably see some time in Salem by the end of the season. Could be tested in Portland if he's successful early next year.
Maurico Dobon (and shortstop)- gifted defender who has been pretty decent offensively so far. Scouts don't like his offensive profile but he's a legitimate prospect even if his upside is a 2nd division starter. Currently in Salem will probably finish the season in high A as he's looking a little exposed so far. Probably slated to start next season in Salem.
Wendell Rijo- another middle infielder (unlike Dubon, strictly a 2b) with limited upside but still a legitimate prospect. He's struggled offensively this year but is very young for the level. Good bat speed and surprising power at points in his young career. Probably starts next year in Salem but could be forced to Portland because of the aforementioned bundling of talent.
Sean Coyle- Looked like his career was back in the upswing last year but still swings and misses too often and is hurt too often. Likely to start in Pawtucket. At this point it wouldn't be the end of the world to displace him (though I still think he could be a useful bench guy).

SS:

Javy Guerra- consensus top 100 guy right now. Power is probably not real but by all accounts he's a 60+ fielder with a 70 arm. If he's not useless as a hitter, he's profiles as a starting major league shortstop. Unlike prior guys with that profile (Marrero, Iglesias, and to a lesser extend Vinicio) he's actually got an interesting offensive profile (issue with splits and lack of bbs, though). Very likely to see Salem by the end of the year. Short of an injury a lock to be in high A next year.
Dubon- See above (can also play 3b, but given the talent there, I don't see how that exactly helps)
Tzu-Wei Lin- Bonus baby who has struggled since signing. Has shown signs of life this year in Salem. Was promoted to Portland out of a combination of positive developments and necessity (Rijo and Dubon displaced him). Very unlikely to have a major league career but talented enough that you wouldn't want to give up on, entirely. Very young but is approaching 5 years in the system.
Marco Herneandez- the PTNL that has actually turned out to be pretty good. He's been excellent in the high minors this year and is probably on the radar for a utility man spot, sometime soon. Probably not a first division starter but a solid glove who looks like he won't kill you with the bat. Is already in Pawtucket.
Deven Marrero- In the majors, and probably done developing. He doesn't look like he'll ever hit but he's a 60+ fielder with a 60+ arm.

3B:

Devers- Consensus top 20 prospect in baseball. Reports about defense are encouraging though there are questions about his body in the long run. Clearly should be given every opportunity to stick at 3rd. Will likely see Salem by season's end. Will start in Salem short of being hurt, next year.
Michael Chavis- Scouts still like the bat speed. 2015 has been terrible Will likely redo Greenville but is still very much a prospect.
Moncada- Again see above.
Coyle- Above
Cechhini- Probably too soon to give up on, but looking like someone who needs a change of scenery.
Travis Shaw- In the majors seems to have displaced Cecchini. Ability to play 1st and 3rd helps value. Could be solid bench contributor. Not someone you want to bench in the minors.

So yeah, while I think it would be foolish to expect all of these guys to hit, we're already seeing some congestion in High A/Double A, especially in the middle infield. There are also a number of interesting guys in the low low minors who could move fast (Mitchell Gunsolus- a high contact lower power college bat with a very solid approach for example) and further muddy the waters. Adding to the "problem" is that we're basically locked in long term at 2b, SS, CF, and (shudder) 3b so it will be difficult for the 2nd tier guys (Marrero, Hernandez, Cecchini, Coyle and Shaw) to break into the majors make way for the top tier prospects should they develop as hoped. 

As for the OF, there's clearly less talent there but it's reasonable to think Margot starts in Pawtucket next season and Benintendi in Salem. The latter of which seems more likely to move fast if he's successful.

In short- I think given our serous need for an impact starter and the sheer volume of legitimate prospects in the system, I suspect Boston trades one of their top tier guys (Margot, Devers and Moncada in order of likelihood) a pitcher (ERod, Owens or a hopefully healthy Johnson) and a collection of the mid tier guys for an impact pitcher.