Red Sox have 4 prospects in ESPN top-100 list

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Oct 16, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of a glove and baseball during batting practice prior to game one of the ALCS between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /

Yoan Moncada

Age: 20
Position: 2B
Top Level: Class A

"“The best projection for Moncada right now is as a second baseman who hits for a high average with 15-18 homer a year, since neither of his swings right now are geared to drive the ball,” writes Law. “Given his inexperience — he played only about 100 games in Cuba before defecting — he still needs more time and room to grow than your typical 20-year old.”"

When Moncada first signed with the Red Sox last year he predicted that he would fly through the minor league system to make it to the big leagues in no time, but he’s pumping the breaks a bit after his first taste of professional baseball in this country. Moncada got off to a slow start when he debuted in Greenville last May, but recovered to hit .305/.414/.503 after July 1, while cutting his strikeout rate from a concerning 28 percent to a more reasonable 20 percent.

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He remains an impressive hitter from both sides of the plate, but may not have the power stroke he was initially projected for. Moncada showed up to the Red Sox Winter Weekend with muscles bursting out of his t-shirt, so perhaps he has built up his strength enough to exceed the modest power projections Law made based on the sample he saw of him last year. Even if his power tops out around the level Law suggests, it won’t be an issue if he sticks at second base. After all, Dustin Pedroia has only topped 18 home runs once in his career and he’s still been a pretty good hitter for the last 9 years.

Moncada still has All-Star upside, but his inexperience puts his timeline to reach the big leagues behind the younger Devers. With Pedroia signed to play second base through the 2021 season, there’s no need to rush their prized prospect.

Next: Andrew Benintendi