The Red Sox have announced prospect Yoan Moncada’s assignment for the start of the season, placing Moncada in extended spring training for an extra few weeks before the team likely shuttles him to Single-A Greenville.
Moncada signed with the Red Sox last month, agreeing to a $31.5M signing bonus after leaving his native Cuba. A true five-tool prospect, the 19 year-old Moncada is considered one of the top two prospects in the Red Sox organization and one of the best young talents in baseball. A natural second baseman, it’s tough to know where Moncada will play defensively in Boston’s future lineups but it will be his bat that carries him through the system.
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This assignment to extended spring training likely has more to do with Moncada’s personal acclimation to life in the United States than it does with his play on the field. After all, Moncada has lived in the United States for all of two months and a sense of discomfort or homesickness could potential stunt his development on the field.
Still, the Red Sox will likely move Moncada up to Greenville before too long. The teenager will join a Greenville roster that is loaded with similarly young, elite talent such as Rafael Devers and 2014 first-rounder Michael Chavis. That group could make Greenville a major destination to watch for Red Sox fans, as those names represent the next wave of young talent for the Red Sox, though Moncada could move faster than most.
Once he acclimates to the minor league lifestyle, it’s easy to see Moncada racing through the system. Moncada said himself that his goal is to be in the major leagues within a year and, though that might be a stretch, the Red Sox have shown a willingness to aggressively promote prospects who prove themselves in the minor leagues. Moncada might start the 2015 season riding buses in Fort Myers but there’s a solid chance he ends the season in the upper minors.