It took some unfortunate twists and turns to get there, but we have our top prospect, and it wasn't particularly close. Yoan Moncada takes #1.
Surprised? No, I don't expect most of you are. After all, Moncada is one of those prospects. The type that seems to draw the sort of attention usually reserved for those who have already made a few MLB All-Star teams. Tools? He has them all in spades. And while it's always true that it's less about the tools then what you make of them, Moncada is not a raw product. At 20 years old, he's not ready for the big leagues just yet, but he's clearly a baseball player, and not just an athlete.
It's all this that led the Red Sox to spend $31.5 million--and then as much again on taxes--as well as surrender their ability to offer big signing bonuses to international players this season to land him. It's an amount previously unheard of on the market, but one the Red Sox are expecting to pay huge dividends when Moncada does make it up to the majors.
Last year, though, was more about getting on track than anything else. While some expected him to start as high as Double-A, the Red Sox seem to have been wise to ease him into baseball after his departure from Cuba cost him his 2014 season. There was a lot of rust there, and it showed. Moncada didn't get on the field until May, and in what remained in the first half, he hit a terrible .200/.287/.289. It was not quite what Red Sox fans were expecting.
Red Sox players, coaches engage in lip sync battle
It's Carl Willis vs. Hanley Ramirez and more, in the ultimate duel.
Then he proceeded to obliterate the second half to the tune of .310/.415/.500 in 216 at bats. Rather more like it.
In 2016, we'll finally get to see what Moncada is capable of over the course of a full season without anything holding him back. He'll start the season at the same time as everyone else, with no more rust than the average player has at the beginning of any other year. Expectations are high, not just in Boston, but everywhere. Moncada is a rare talent that will draw eyes from everyone interested in prospects. The kind they go out of their way to see. If the second half is any indication, he won't disappoint them when they do.
Alright, since last time showed there were some problems with the basic polling system, we're returning to the comments-based system. Head down to the comments below, and look for the comment for the player you want to vote for, as pictured here:
There'll be a "rec" button where that star is. You click it, and that's your vote. You do have to be a registered user, unfortunately, but some people are weird about what they'll use their spare time for, meaning we can't have nice things. Sorry to everyone else.
With that said, vote away!