The three-ringed circus surrounding 19-year-old Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada is said to be nearing the finish line. He is expected to make a decision as soon as early next week according to Scott Miller of MLB Bleacher Reports/Turner Sports:
According to John Heyman of CBS Sports The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres are the favorites to land Moncada However the Los Angeles Dodgers lurk in the background.
Could Yoan Moncada be the savior the Padres need at the top of the order and shortstop? Well yes he very well could be, but he is really young and inexperienced. Perhaps time in the minors would be best for him to develop his talent.
It is going to take at least $40-50 million dollars to even start to negotiate with Moncada’s representatives. I don’t think the Padres would want an investment like that potentially damaged by not succeeding at the Major League level.
If he were signed by the Padres, he would most surely open the year in the minors. Who knows though, if he signs early enough, he could showcase his skills and earn a roster spot. At the age of 19, he would easily be the youngest player in the Major Leagues. So he will not be rushed, no matter where he eventually signs.
Yoan Moncada and his representatives say that they would like a contract finalized by the end of February. That gives them about a week to pick a team and let this young man start his Major League career. There has been much attention given to Yoan Moncada, and deservedly so.
The switch-hitting infielder owns a career .277 batting average in 367 Cuban League at bats. In those limited at bats he has showcased a lot of raw talent. Four home runs and 28 runs batted in with an impressive .388 on base percentage. He also stole 21 bases for the Cienfuegos of the Cuban League.
It seems to be a forgone conclusion that the Yankees or Dodgers will outbid the Padres for his services. Well in the past that would be the case, but AJ Preller has made in known that he is anything but stereotypical. The Padres have had private workouts with Moncada, so they are well aware of his ability.
The New York Yankees themselves have had three private workouts with Moncada. Perhaps his comparison to Robinson Cano is just too enticing for them to pass on. The New York Yankee fans are certainly expecting his services. It’s the Yankee way after all.
AJ Preller has seen him in person and is fluent in Spanish. You can be sure, he knows what kind of person Moncada is. When your investing that kind of money, character and work ethic will be key. Handing a 19-year old that kind of money can be scary, you have to really “want it” to succeed. It would be very easy for him to just pack it up and go through the motions. It will take a generous offer to land his services. Question is. Is he worth it?
The game of baseball is hardly predictable. Prospects can fizzle out at any point. However, Yoan Moncada looks like a man-child at the age of 19. He is built really well, at 6 foot 2 inches and 205 lbs. Moncada has a nice quick swing from both sides of the plate and his defense is above average.
If he were already in the minor league system right now, he would easily crack the top 20 prospects in the game, perhaps even the top 10. That’s a lot of hype for a player who hasn’t played one inning of professional baseball. It will certainly be interesting to see how this whole thing will turn out. Stay tuned Padre fans, things might get interesting around San Diego in about a week or so.
More from Friars on Base
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
- This veteran DH target seems ideal for contending Padres roster