Yoan Moncada shouldn’t get used to the limited fanfare in Fort Myers, Fla.
Moncada, who immediately became the Boston Red Sox’s top prospect upon signing with the club during spring training, played in his first game Monday since joining the organization. The 19-year-old tripled in his debut — an extended spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway South — although the effort took place in front of exactly one fan, according to The News-Press’ David Dorsey.
There were 23 people — 19 players, one Red Sox intern, one Atlanta Braves scout, one sportswriter and one fan — who were not in the dugouts or on the field when Moncada took his first at-bat Monday, Dorsey reported. It isn’t surprising, as extended spring training games typically don’t draw a crowd, but it’s a funny twist given that Moncada just received a $31.5 million signing bonus on the international free-agent market and is considered by many to be a future major league superstar.
The one fan, Tony Medina, a resident of Fort Myers and a native of the Dominican Republic, someday could look back on the experience with a pretty awesome story to tell. It was Moncada’s first organized baseball game in the United States since defecting from Cuba and his first overall since 2013.
“With that bat, he might be ready,” Medina told Dorsey. “But he has some work to do with his glove.”
Moncada figures to be a couple of years away from the majors. The switch-hitter reportedly showed a glimpse of his potential Monday, though, as he (batting right-handed) lined the third pitch he saw to deep right-center field for a standup triple.
Not a bad debut. Even if few witnessed it.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Cut4