The Red Sox have received plenty of contributions from young players this season, as they have been able to draw on one of the most robust reserves of young talent in the league so far. However, they have kept one bullet in the chamber for the stretch run: Yoan Moncada, MLB.com’s No. 1 prospect in all of baseball.
|BA: .294||OBP: .407||SLG: .511|
Moncada has been arguably the most talked-about prospect in the minors this season, and he earned his way to the majors Friday after just 45 games at Double-A. The 21-year-old has done nothing but hit since getting to the United States, after signing as a 19-year-old from Cuba two years ago. Moncada is expected to see regular time at third base, which makes him a must-add Fantasy player down the stretch. So, what should Fantasy players expect from him?
When it comes to Moncada, you have to start with the speed. He swiped nine bases in 45 games at Double-A Portland, a somewhat disappointing pace, but there’s no question he has game-breaking speed. Moncada has 45 steals overall this season between two levels, and carries with him an 86.3 percent success rate when stealing in two minor-league seasons.
Of course, you have to get on base to steal one, and that is where the real question comes in for Moncada. Even then, it might not be that much of a question for him because he has absolutely torn the cover off the ball this season.
Moncada got started at High-A Salem, hitting .307/.427/.496 in 61 games, striking out 21.1 percent of the time, but walking 15.8 percent of the time as well. That earned him a midseason call-up to Double-A, where he has taken a significantly different — but no less effective, to date — approach at the plate.
Moncada, who is expected to grow into plus power before long, started showing it at the higher level in the minors. He clubbed 11 homers in 45 games, sporting a .531 slugging percentage and a .254 Isolated slugging percentage, good for fourth in the Eastern League. Moncada did have to sell out a bit to reach that power output, as his contact rate plummeted; he struck out in 30.9 percent of his plate appearances, also the second-highest rate in his league.
That a 21-year-old had some contact issues at Double-A is hardly a surprise, and is certainly no reason for alarm. The fact he was still able to remain supremely productive is a great sign, as Moncada has now shown us exactly the kind of adaptable skill set you need to thrive in the majors. That isn’t a guarantee that he will — Mike Trout hit .220 in his first season in the majors, after posting a .326/.414/.544 in Double-A — but it is certainly a reason to be optimistic.
Moncada has a chance to be a difference-making power-speed threat in Fantasy, and his ability to get on the bases and wreak havoc should serve him well even if the power doesn’t follow him from Portland.
There is no other player on the waiver wire right now with as much potential as Moncada, so he should be the top priority for every player looking to make an add. He deserves to be universally owned, and could be the difference between a championship and a seat at home during the playoffs. Go get him.
Source: CBS Sports / Fantasy Baseball: Yoan Moncada ready to make an impact?