Yoan Moncada Scouting Report

Yoan Moncada Scouting Report

Yoan Moncada is the next Cuban sensation seemly destined for stardom. His situation is a bit different from his fellow Cuban defectors however. Moncada signed as a teenager, so he needs more seasoning than the average Cuban prospect. Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu, and Yoenis Cespedes only had a cup of coffee in the minors before they joined their major league clubs. These guys are already in their prime and major league ready. Signing at only 19 years old, Moncada is still developing, and may need a couple full minor league seasons much like the average draft prospect.

Yoan Moncada Scouting Report

Moncada’s age and his five-tool skillset are what earned him $31.5 million bonus from the Boston Red Sox. When he first announced his desire to play Major League Baseball, it started a frenzy of bidding league wide for his services. The result of the bidding war is the largest bonus ever given to an amateur player, which shattered the previous record of $16.25 given to Aroldis Chapman. The Red Sox have started Moncada in low A ball. Currently he his hitting .292 for the Greenville Drive with seven homeruns and 40 stolen bases. There is some swing and miss to his game, as evidence of the 66 strikeouts in 257 at bats. That’s typical of any slugger. However, he his 31 walks and .383 on-base percentage make up for the whiffs.

Yoan Moncada

Staff photo by Christopher Evans

The Red Sox haven’t set a position for him yet, which attributes to athleticism and versatility. In Cuba he played mostly second and third base, but also saw time at shortstop and centerfield. So far in A ball he’s stuck to second, but there are talks of moving him if a need arrives. His strong arm allows him to play anywhere on the diamond. The type of power he possesses is a premium at a middle infield position. Scouts project him to hit around .280 in the majors, with the potential to knock 20-25 homers. That would easily make him the best second baseman in the game today. On top of that he is a significant base stealing threat. Over a full season he is capable of eclipsing the 50 stolen base mark. For some perspective, only three players swiped more than 50 bags last year. He is the definition of a five-tool player.

The Red Sox have no reason to rush their prized prospect. Last offseason the team piled up the cash to plug holes all over the diamond. Currently there is no room for Moncada at the major league level. Luckily for them he has a couple of years refining his game in the minors before he forces the issue onto their major league roster. It’s going to be a tough wait for all of us, but once Moncada arrives, he will be a treat for all except maybe Yankee fans. Get to know baseball’s next great young superstar.

photos courtesy of the Boston Herald & Boston Globe