Who is Yoan Moncada?

If you haven’t heard, the Red Sox reached an agreement with the most sought-after Cuban player in recent history. Boston outbid a plethora of interested teams that included the Padres, free-spending Dodgers, and hated Yankees. I admit, I was one of the people that suspected Moncada to end up in New York playing in front of the worst fans in the world, but in a total surprise (to me, anyway), he’ll be playing in front of the best in the near future. So, if you haven’t heard much about this guy or you’re wondering what all the hype is about, here’s a quick rundown of Yoan Moncada and the talent and potential he possesses.

He’s considered a 5 tool player. What’s that? Basically, your quote-on-quote “superstar” player. That means he has power, hits for average, runs the bases with speed and skill, has a great arm, and a very good defensive skill set. Scouts around the league have likened Moncada to a young Chase Utley and there are even comparisons to Robinson Cano. In terms of how he compares to the best current prospects in the game, Moncada has been said to be at the top as well, with many suggesting he would easily be one of the best 10 (some say top 5 or even top 3) in the ENTIRE league. Needless to say, this kid is good. Take one look at his freakish arm size and you’ll quickly see the baseball equivalent to the Hulk.

What position does he play?

Moncada has some experience in the infield, particularly at second base and third base. Well, we have the best second baseman in the game along with a great addition at third in Pablo Sandoval. Where will Moncada go? Short answer: the minor leagues. He’s only 19 years old, meaning he isn’t exactly primed to go right now. I see him playing 1-3 years in the minor leagues and getting some seasoning before he gets the call up. Long answer: third base or the outfield. What about Pablo? Well, he’s definitely our third baseman right now, but he could move to first when Moncada arrives. If not, pull another Hanley Ramirez and stick him in the outfield somewhere (he could even play left if Hanley moves to first or DH).

Conclusion: this could very well be the next Yasiel Puig – just without a lot of the arrogance and baggage. You’ll want to be in Fenway Park in the next few years, because you could very well see another superstar lighting up the green monster. As always, thanks for reading and thanks for the support.

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2015 AL EAST Projections

Here are my predictions for the AL East for the upcoming season and my reasoning behind each one.

5. Yankees 79-83

Old, unhealthy, and a lackluster staff full of questions. Will Beltran and Ellsbury hold up an entire season? Not likely. How about Tanaka’s elbow? Huge question mark. Sabathia is a shell of his former self. McCann was about as useful as a burnt match last season and isn’t getting any younger. Oh, and they have a 40 year old, cheating, humiliating 3rd baseman/DH in A-Rod.

4. Rays 82-80

No more Joe Maddon, no more Wil Myers experiment, no more David Price. Longoria is still a question mark for me. Their offense should be quite anemic and I don’t think they have the pitching to get it done. Cobb isn’t too bad, and Archer still has potential. I don’t see the Rays being much of a threat this season.

3. Orioles 85-77

They didn’t do much this offseason. They lost Markakis, Cruz, and Andrew Miller. Their rotation is average. Machado, Wieters, and Davis will need to be healthy and need to have big years for the O’s to be back in the playoffs.

2. Blue Jays 86-76

They had a pretty solid offseason in terms of adding firepower. Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson should give them a nice boost. Throw in Bautista and Encarnacion and they should have a fun lineup to watch. Pitching will again be their biggest weakness. Dickey hasn’t regained his Cy Young form and I don’t see much potential for their rotation.

1. Red Sox 92-70

Most analysts don’t have the Red Sox reaching 90 wins. That’s fine. Most analysts didn’t pick the Red Sox to even make the playoffs in 2013 and we all know what happened. With the additions of Sandoval and Ramirez (as long as they stay healthy), a certain bouncback from Pedroia and Napoli, younger guys with tons of potential in Betts, Bogaerts, and Castillo, and one of the strongest benches in the league, the Red Sox will have a dynamic offense that will light up Fenway more times than not. The bullpen hasn’t gotten enough credit for how it’s been revamped, and I think it will be a very strong one. My biggest concern is still the rotation. Our guys are good, but they aren’t great. Throw in a Cole Hamels in the next few weeks and the Red Sox will look much more like the favorite. If they decide to pass on Hamels now, the trade deadline should still offer plenty to choose from. In the end, the Red Sox will have a strong second half and will win the AL East.

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