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Filed under: ranks Yoan Moncada the 9th-best prospect in baseball

MLB has updated their prospect rankings to accommodate the newest member of the Red Sox farm system.

Yoan Moncada didn't sign -- officially or otherwise -- before the various prospect outlets released their top-100 lists. We ended up with plenty of hypothetical "Moncada would rank in this vicinity" talk before he ever agreed to sign with the Red Sox, but has gone the extra mile and updated their top-100 to reflect Moncada's entry into the minors. Moncada is the ninth-best prospect in the game in their view, sandwiched between 19-year-old Dodgers' phenom Julio Urias and ultra-powerful Rangers' third baseman Joey Gallo.

Not only that, but they prepared a full scouting report for Moncada, as they have for everyone else on the list. Using the 20-80 scouting scale (where 20 is the worst and 80 is the best) they rate Moncada's hit, power, and arm as 60s, which falls into "plus" tool territory. His fielding is his weakest asset, but it still comes in at an average 50, and his strongest tool is his running, which rates as a 65. The total package comes in at a 65, too: 60 would be a first-division player, while a 70 would be someone expected to be an all-star on multiple occasions. So, 65 is kind of in between there, the kind of player who scouts expect to be a star, but maybe not a superstar.

MLB describes Moncada as the best Cuban prospect to come stateside since Jorge Soler, and say that his arm is strong enough to allow him to play anywhere on the field. His strongest position could be second base, which might not be an option for an organization that has Dustin Pedroia locked up for life, but between his bat -- MLB believes a .280 average and 20-25 homers annually are in the cards -- and his defensive abilities, the Sox will make it work when it's time to. That could be a few years from now, but since he's signed to a minor-league deal, that's no problem: Moncada's service time clock won't start ticking until he's in the majors, and he isn't using up any options yet since he's not even on Boston's 40-man roster.

Moncada's signing is finally official, and the Red Sox will introduce him on Friday afternoon. He's already in Fort Myers participating in minor-league camp, and while he'll start the season out somewhere warm -- maybe extended spring training or High-A Salem -- he could be pushed to Double-A Portland before too long if he starts strong. The Sox have been more aggressive than that with young Cuban talents in the past, and Jose Iglesias never had Moncada's potential at the plate.