Boston Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada of Cuba has 'been a different guy in the … – MassLive.com
With Cuban slugger Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park the past three days playing the Boston Red Sox, let’s look at the progress of 20-year-old Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada of Cuba.
After all, Boston signed Moncada to a record $31.5 million signing bonus and Cuban Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5-million contract in part because the White Sox outbid them for Abreu before the 2014 season.
Abreu won the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year by bashing 36 homers, driving in 107 runs and batting .317 with a .383 on-base percentage, .581 slugging percentage and .964 OPS.
The Red Sox watched Abreu’s success and decided to make a big splash in the Cuban free agent market, signing Castillo last August and Moncada in March.
Moncada’s $31.5 million became the largest signing bonus ever given to an international amateur free agent.
Castillo hasn’t panned out so far. Boston recalled the 28-year-old from Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday after trading Shane Victorino to the Angels. Castillo entered Wednesday batting .272/.320/.368/.688 in 122 big league plate appearances since last September.
Castillo has experienced difficulties both offensively and defensively and his baseball instincts aren’t up to the standards expected from a 28-year-old who played 360 games over five seasons in Cuba’s major league, Serie Nacional.
Castillo eventually could become a very good major leaguer but Moncada at this point seems like the better bet out the two Cuban Red Sox players to become an All-Star big leaguer.
Moncada, who turned 20 on May 27, started off slow for the Low-A Greenville Drive, batting .200 with a .287 on-base percentage, .289 slugging percentage, .576 OPS and just five extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple and one homer) in his first 25 games.
But he has hit .336/.431/.542/.973 with 13 extra-base hits (four homers, eight doubles, one triple) over his past 28 games.
“He’s been a different guy here in the second half,” Greenville manager Darren Fenster said by phone recently. “And there are probably a number of contributing factors to that. I don’t think this is a case of a guy who the light just goes on. I think this has been a process for him since the day he signed in March. From when we first saw him down in spring training to when he first got here in May, he was a completely different player. And then today, relative to when he first got here in May, he’s a …Read More