Fantasy Baseball StockWatch: Red Sox IF Yoan Moncada
The Yoan Moncada saga finally reached its climax with the 19-year-old Cuban infielder agreeing to a $31.5 million signing bonus with the Red Sox that will cost Boston $63M after paying a 100 percent tax for exceeding the international bonus pool.
Moncada immediately jumps into the top 10 prospects in baseball and he will likely head to High-A to start the season.
Keeper league owners take note: Moncada has a rare combination of speed, power, patience and hitting ability that will make him a prize to go after in drafts and auctions. We already have him ranked No. 137 in our top 300 keeper rankings.
His speed has graded out at 70, right on par with Rusney Castillo, the Red Sox rookie who is projected for 27 steals in 490 plate appearances for Boston in our preseason rankings.
His power has been graded at 60, which means he should crack 20 homers in his prime and has the potential to push into the 30s.
His hit tool is getting 60 grades too, which should allow him to hit in the .270-.290 range.
Add that up and you’re looking at a .280, 25-homer, 30-steal infielder.
Where he winds up playing on defense is still a big question, as the Red Sox have Dustin Pedroia signed through 2021 at second base and Pablo Sandoval through 2019 at third base. He can play shortstop too, but the Red Sox have future cornerstone Xander Bogaerts already there. Scouts also think Moncada could eventually be converted to outfield, but he’ll surely stick to the infield at first.
We’re betting he winds up at third base, as he has a strong arm and Sandoval could be moved to first base next year with Mike Napoli now in his walk year or to DH whenever David Ortiz finally reaches the end of the road.
We all have to tap the breaks a bit, as he almost assuredly will spend this season in the minors barring a rash of injuries in Boston and quick rise through the minors by Moncada.
He could push the issue next spring, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long for his arrival. The best bet is that he’s up in Boston to stay by the summer of 2016.