Well, we knew this might be coming, not only because Moncada had been killing High-A Salem, but because word was getting around.
Moncada returned to action Sunday afternoon, but did so in Salem rather than Portland. Either the Sox wanted to get him one last game in familiar territory after his short time off with injury, or they just needed a little more convincing. Moncada provided a 2-for-4 performance, blasting the last pitch he saw to right for a big homer. And now here we are:
Thanks to Jalen Beeks, Yoan Moncada and Ben Taylor for their contributions to a championship first half! #RISINGSOX pic.twitter.com/jaAu2USJgW— Salem Red Sox (@salemredsox) June 20, 2016
Moncada, obviously, is the big one there.
The young second baseman will finish his High-A career with a line of .307/.427/.496 in 228 at bats with 60 strikeouts and 45 walks. and move on to join Andrew Benintendi in Portland. If Benintendi's experience in Double-A is any indication, an excellent Salem performance doesn't guarantee a quick start at Portland. And frankly, Moncada's strikeout numbers are at least a bit concerning, which is more than could be said about pretty much anything about Benintendi when he received the bump.
That, however, is all just so much nitpicking on one of baseball's best prospects. Yoan Moncada is finally moving up, taking one of the biggest steps in a player's minor league development as he makes the jump from the low minors to the high minors. If he can handle this, while Pawtucket is technically still waiting in between, in many ways it will be the last step separating him from the majors.