20 Under 25 Candidates: Yoan Moncada


A year ago at this time, Moncada was a virtual unknown in Cuba. But the Red Sox won a bidding war for him last spring training -- despite the fact that a tax resulted in them ultimately paying out twice as much as they paid the player himself -- and his first season of pro ball was an unqualified success. Having just turned 20, Moncada posted a slash line of .278/.380/.438 at Single-A Greenville, with 8 homers in 81 games and 49 stolen bases in 52 attempts.

Moncada is considered a five-tool player with plus power, speed and arm strength. In the future, he could play any number of positions. For now, the Red Sox have him at second base, though he could conceivably fit in at third base or a spot in the outfield. Defensively, he can get a little flashy and sloppy, but it's thought that can be corrected.

It's expected that he will begin this year at High-A Salem, and a promotion to Double-A Portland later in the season can't be ruled out. If he continues to advance, he might figure into the big-league club's plans as early as 2018. His athleticism and versatility excites the Red Sox no end -- Moncada could be a foundational player around whom they could build.

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