The Boston Red Sox have some decisions to make before Sept. 1, and the most intriguing one involves what they’ll do with their 21-year-old super prospect.
Yoan Moncada has risen through the team’s minor league ranks and is thriving for Double-A Portland. Given the recent success of former Portland teammate Andrew Benintendi, Moncada could be a strong candidate to make Boston’s roster when it expands to 40 players Thursday.
But the Red Sox are wary of calling up Moncada just to have him sit on the bench, and Boston’s crowded infield could make it difficult for the Cuba native to find the field. Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski discussed the dilemma Monday in a radio appearance on WEEI during the NESN/WEEI Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon.
“First of all, if you’re going to bring a guy like that up, you want to make sure he has a chance to play some,” Dombrowski said, via WEEI.com. “It doesn’t do you much good if you’re going to bring him up and he just sits and doesn’t play. … For example, when Benintendi came up, he played. We put him right out there in left field.
“That’s one thing with Moncada. … I wouldn’t let that stop him from being brought up if he was going to play. But those are the conversations that we still need to have over the next day. We’ve talked a lot of generalities.”
Manager John Farrell hinted Sunday that Moncada could be employed as a pinch runner. But Dombrowski appears skeptical of thrusting the 21-year-old into high leverage situations on the basepaths.
“He’s going to steal a lot of bases at the big league level. But he’s learning that art at the upper-levels,” Dombrowski said. “He hasn’t stole as many bases at Double-A as he did in A-ball. In A-ball his speed just took over. You’re working with him, but he hasn’t stolen quite as many bases yet at the Double-A level.”
Moncada clearly has a bright future, but Dombrowski’s comments indicate the Red Sox might hesitate to call him up this season unless the situation is right.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vazquez/USA TODAY Sports Images