Believe it or not, KC Royals speedy shortstop Adalberto Mondesi is still just 24 years old. Should the club act fast to lock him up long-term?
Major League Baseball teams should always seek to keep their young talent under club control for as long as possible. The KC Royals and shortstop Adalberto Mondesi are no different.
Mondesi, entering his fifth major league season and just his second one in which he’s slated to play at least 100 games, has a very bright future ahead of him. After struggling to find his footing initially, he burst onto the scene in 2018 and put together a very solid season. His unique blend of speed, power and defense is everything teams want in a shortstop. With that said, potential has always been the word used when describing him.
Injuries have plagued Mondesi throughout his young career. A player whose father played in the MLB for 13 years, Adalberto is no stranger to how teams operate. They put emphasis on and build around their developing stars. At 24 years old, he has yet to reach his ceiling as a player. He’s a very valuable asset and under club control until 2024.
Then again, Mondesi knows how teams operate. If the Kansas City Royals were wise, they’d do everything in their power to sign the uber-talented infielder to a long-term extension through his prime. Salvador Perez was 25 when the team signed him to a five-year, $52.5 million deal that was intended to keep him a Royal through most (or all) of his prime. Mondesi will turn 25 in July but doesn’t yet have the track record Perez had at the time.
While ensuring Mondesi’s best years are in Kansas City would be nice, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for either side at this point. Should he stay healthy and finally live up to the hype, the Royals will have gotten a good deal and he’d feel as if he got the short end of the stick. On the other hand, if his ceiling is lower than we think and/or health continues to be a concern, Dayton Moore will have a troublesome contract on his hands down the line.
Let’s revisit this again a year from now. 2020 appears to be a big year for pretty much everyone in the KC Royals organization. It will shape the futures of many people, Mondesi included. It’s a foregone conclusion that he’s a franchise cornerstone, but locking him up long-term would be wise if he can put it all together this upcoming season.