Jun 13, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks outfielder Andrew Benintendi (16) hits a sacrifice RBI against the Virginia Cavaliers in the third inning in the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Two Long Shots for 2016
I had a huge question mark appear before by limited vision when I saw the college OBP and home run figures of first round selection Andrew Benintendi and am I going to have difficulties with that name!
A two team slash of .313/.416/.556 that dramatic improvement from Low-A ball at Lowell to Greenville. More walks than strikeouts and some real speed with 10 steals in 13 attempts. Then the 11 home runs and 31 RBI in just 198 at bats for the left-hand hitting a fielding Benintendi. Paste them all together and this prospect will be watched closely in 2016.
I will not discount a sudden rise as this could be a Mookie Betts type leap in 2016 – granted, that is a real long shot, but I have been surprised before. Will he have a career similar to Darin Erstad?
A switch hitter who is the number one Red Sox prospect and cost the team the gross national product of many countries and that is Yoan Moncada.
Moncada took some time to make the adjustment after leaving Cuba and languishing a year while the various procedures of passport and visa took place that would make him a one percenter – welcome to America!
The speed of 49 steals in 52 attempts is a certain attention getter as is the disappointing 83 strikeouts in 308 at-bats, but, again – that may be discounted based on the rust factor. As the season progressed so did Moncada.
I went to Cuba in May and the first four days were spent in Cienfuegos, which was the hometown of our fellow baseball aficionado driver. His assessment is Moncada is far more talented than former Elephantes Jose Abreau. Now, that is certainly high praise.
Just what is the timetable for Moncada? Don’t expect a rush with this blue chip as the Red Sox have some other infield options, but talent cannot be denied and a quick start at Salem could mean a rapid system rise. I would expect a September call-up if progress continues.