No. 9: Red Sox starting pitching prospect Yordanny Monegro
Yordanny Monegro burst onto the scene in 2023 as the most entertaining prospect in the Boston Red Sox system.
Following a brief run of dominance in the FCL to start his season, Monegro moved up to Single-A. After nine overpowering appearances with Salem, the right-handed pitcher was on the move again. He got to finish out his season with some impressive starts in High-A.
Monegro finished the year with a 2.06 ERA, .194 BAA, and 1.10 WHIP between the three levels. He struck out 93 batters compared to 26 walks in 65 2/3 innings.
Monegro quickly captured the hearts of Red Sox fans thanks to his combination of a filthy curveball and an electrifying attitude.
We started to see a lot of strikeouts from Monegro. And with those strikeouts came emotions. The pitcher has an unlimited bag of celebrations he reaches into whenever he picks up a K.
I love this for a few reasons. It energizes the crowd, his teammates, and Monegro himself. You're playing a game, and you should be having fun.
It also gets into his opponent's heads. We saw this in the playoffs. Monegro finished an inning with a strikeout and walked back to the dugout, wagging his finger and shaking his head. When the broadcast came back on for the next inning, the announcer informed everyone that the player who struck out had to be restrained by his teammate and the umpire as he yelled at Greenville's dugout.
Greenville won that game and the series.
It also doesn't hurt that catching prospect Kyle Teel seems to love Monegro's talent and attitude. That's a major vote of confidence right there.
The 20-year-old has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s. It doesn't have a ton of movement, but it looks like a pitch that he isn't afraid to attack hitters with, especially up in the zone. The good news is that Monegro seems to have good command of the pitch.
Then there's a slider in the mid-80s. This is probably Monegro's worst pitch that I've seen. It's not a bad pitch, but it's the one that has the most potential to go wrong, as he can leave it a little flat at times. Not a bad third pitch, though.
The curveball is the real star of the show here. I legitimately believe this is the best curveball I've ever personally seen from a prospect. It tends to sit in the mid-to-high-70s, but I've seen it drop to 73 MPH.
He has fantastic control of the pitch, and it has a disgustingly unfair sweeping break. Monegro can drop it into the zone for a strike, but it's more fun to watch hitters flail at a pitch in the dirt that hits them in the ankles.
Yordanny Monegro became a fan-favorite thanks to the swagger he has on the mound. However, the talent is there to match it. If he can add a little to his fastball, it will be hard for hitters to ever figure him out.