KC Royals top prospect Raul Mondesi is finally flashing his power at AA NW Arkansas. The 20-year-0ld middle infielder has slammed six extra-base hits (including three home runs) in 32 at bats.
The Kansas City Royals front office had rushed Mondesi, the son of former all-star outfielder Raul Mondesi, through the Royals system. Typically the youngest player in every league he’s played in on his way up, Mondesi always flashed terrific tools at the plate despite mediocre results. Mondesi’s .249/.295/.373 career professional slash line has left scouts commenting that Mondesi has yet to develop a consistent approach at the plate.
It seems he’s figured it out at NW Arkansas this season.
For the first time in his KC Royals career, Mondesi is repeating a level. After hitting .243/.279/.372 at NW Arkansas in 2015, he’s opened 2016 with a scorching .344/.400/.750 triple slash with 2 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 home runs.
By George, I think he’s got it.
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Most scouts believed that Mondesi would develop good power for a middle infielder with the Kansas City Royals, given his excellent bat speed and maturing strength. But, they have been relying on projecting his tools to rate him among baseball’s best prospects. Finally, Raul Mondesi’s production looks like it’s catching up to his prodigious abilities.
Yes, we’ve only seen 32 at bats so far this season. However, Mondesi simply looks more comfortable at the plate. Of course, AA pitching probably looks pretty hittable after spending most of spring training in major league camp with the KC Royals, where Mondesi faded to .239/.255/.304 after an encouraging start.
At least his manager in AA probably won’t be asking him to bunt much (which several scouts have cited as holding him back from discovering his identity as a hitter).
If Raul Mondesi continues to hit at AA, I expect the Kansas City Royals front office to rapidly promote him to AAA Omaha, to prepare him for a September call-up to the big club. Right now, his only experience at the major league level came when he made a cameo in the 2015 World Series with one at bat against the Mets—becoming the first player in MLB history to make his debut during the Fall Classic.
Mondesi’s early success has raised hopes that the soon to be 21-year-old (his birthday is July 27) will be ready to take over at second base as soon as 2017. Incumbent KC Royals second baseman Omar Infante needs to make hay while the sun shines, because Raul Adalberto Mondesi looks to be on his way.