The Red Sox announced on Wednesday evening that they will promote top prospect Yoan Moncada to the Major Leagues on Friday.
The 21-year-old Moncada is widely regarded as one of the top prospects in all of baseball, if not the top prospect. The switch-hitter was one of the most highly sought after international free agents in history when he left Cuba last year, prompting the Red Sox to agree to a $31.5MM bonus — far and away the largest ever for a player that is characterized by an amateur under Major League Baseball’s international prospect rulings. That bonus came with a 100 percent luxury tax, meaning that the Red Sox effectively spent $63MM simply to get Moncada into their farm system. That figure doesn’t account for any of the future salaries that Moncada will begin to earn as he works his way toward arbitration, but the early returns look to have been worth it for Boston.
In 486 plate appearances between Class-A Advanced and Double-A this season, Moncada is batting a scintillating .298/.411/.518 with 15 home runs, 31 doubles, six triples and 45 stolen bases (in 57 attempts). While the majority of his time in the minors has been spent as a second baseman, he recently began seeing some time at the hot corner in Double-A Portland, which is where he figures to fit into the Red Sox’ short- and long-term plans, thanks to the presence of franchise cornerstone Dustin Pedroia at second base.
Moncada ranked No. 1 on the midseason top prospect lists of both Baseball America and MLB.com, while Baseball Prospectus ranked him second and ESPN’s Keith Law rated him fifth (though it’s worth noting that three of the players ahead of Moncada on Law’s Top 50 are now in the Majors).