The young shortstop of the KC Royals is the son of a former All-Star and Gold Glove major league outfielder. How do father and son compare?
For KC Royals’ shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, the comparison is inevitable, an unavoidable consequence of being the baseball playing son of a former major league star. His is a pedigree impossible to ignore; not even a change in name for baseball purposes can deflect study of the son against the backdrop of the father, a former National League outfielder.
Adalberto Mondesi is by birth Raul Adalberto Mondesi, son of Raul Mondesi, an exceptional veteran of 13 major league seasons, the best of them spent with the Dodgers and Blue Jays. But the Royals’ Raul became, by his choice and insistence, Adalberto–he announced shortly after spring training began in 2018 that he wished to be called by that name because it made him comfortable and that’s how people in his home, the Dominican Republic, knew him.
Cynics might attribute the change to some desire on Mondesi’s part to distance himself from his father who, only a few months before Mondesi and the KC Royals announced the change, was sentenced to eights years in prison for embezzling funds while serving as the mayor of San Cristobal.
But there is no evidence to support such a notion, nor to believe Adalberto is ashamed of or resents the name “Raul” or his father. He deserves to be taken at his word that he feels more comfortable with “Adalberto” and “Adalberto” is how he was known when he began his professional career after signing, as a 16-year old, with the Royals for a $2 million bonus in 2011.
Regardless of by what name he’s called, though, the comparisons to his father that began as soon as he became a ballplayer will forever accompany Adalberto. For the record, how do father and son compare, especially as Adalberto prepares to begin his fifth season of significant playing time?