By Chris Crawford, Ben Carsley and the BP Prospect Team
The State of the System: This system is so young it doesn’t even get an allowance yet, but boy is it talented.
The Top Ten
- 2B Yoan Moncada
- RHP Anderson Espinoza
- 3B Rafael Devers
- OF Andrew Benintendi
- RHP Michael Kopech
- OF Luis Alexander Basabe
- 1B Sam Travis
- LHP Brian Johnson
- SS Deven Marrero
- C Austin Rei
1. Yoan Moncada, 2B
Height/Weight: 6’2” 205 lbs
Drafted/Acquired: Signed March 2015 out of Cuba for $31.5 million
Previous Ranking(s): Unranked
2015 Stats: .278/.380/.438, 8 HR, 49 SB in 363 PA at Low-A Greenville
Future Tools: 70 speed, 60 hit, 60 glove, 60 arm, 55 power
Role: 70—Perennial All-Star second baseman
When you’re given as much money as Moncada was and hyped as the best thing to come out of Cuba since Daisy Fuentes, expectations are going to be high. All things considered, it’s safe to say he met them, especially in the second half of the year. The swing is slightly “prettier” from the left side, but there’s plus bat speed from both sides of the plate, and it stays in the hitting zone long enough to lash line drives all over the field. He’s ripped, and that strength and some leverage give him above-average power, even with a swing that doesn’t incorporate much loft. He’s a very smart hitter who shows advanced selectivity at the plate, and while that also comes with some strikeouts, the walks help compensate. Like Homestar Runner he’s a terrific athlete with plus-plus speed, and he’s going to provide tremendous value on the bases.
Moncada does not have the same skill set defensively, but it should be enough for him to stick at second base. He doesn’t always get great jumps, and like most kids not old enough to drink there are both physical and mental mistakes aplenty. Still, there’s more than enough athleticism to compensate, and his plus throwing arm stands out at the keystone.
There’s a little more work to be done than anticipated, but it shouldn’t surprise if this ends up being the guy we call the best prospect in baseball next year—maybe even this summer.
Bret Sayre’s Fantasy take: What else is there to say about the third-best fantasy prospect in baseball? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here—if everything comes together for Moncada, his fantasy numbers could look something like whatHanley Ramirez put up in his 20s. That’s both incredibly exciting and an incredibly unfair statistical comp to put on someone, but he could be the top second sacker for fantasy by 2018.
Major League ETA: 2017
Photo by Kelly O’Connor/www.sittingstill.smugmug.com