An Open Letter to the Red Sox

We originally posted this in June of this year, but in honor of Moncada being called up on Friday here it is again.

 

moncadaIf you are a Red Sox fan or an avid fantasy baseball player who tracks prospects then you are likely familiar with Yoan Moncada. Moncada is a Cuban born 2nd baseman currently playing AA Portland for the Red Sox. As the number one prospect in Boston’s organization there is a lot of optimism about what Moncada will do for the team’s future. In Single-A this year Moncada played 61 games and had a .307/.427/.496 slash line with 36 stolen bases in 44 attempts. Now at Double-A he has played in seven games and has a .281/.281/.406 slash line with 1 stolen base in 1 attempt.

Nearly every analyst feels the future is bright for this 21 year old middle infielder, but when will his future with the big league club happen? I believe it should happen next year.

With David Ortiz retiring at the end of the 2016 season Boston will have an opening at the DH spot that they haven’t had in many years. In addition they have a first baseman who would be better as a DH in Manny Ramirez. My suggestion is this, after 2016 move Ramirez to DH. That opens up first base for Travis Shaw who currently plays third. With third open you could bring up Moncada and let him play there as scouts have said he can play second or third.

Not only have you improved your defense by getting Ramirez off the field, but three fourths of the Red Sox infield would be 26 or younger.

It is unlikely that Moncada starts 2017 with the big league club, but if the Red Sox are reading this they really should give it some thought.

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Look Out Story, Here Comes Sanchez

Gary Sanchez

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has done something this season that no other rookie has done since, well since Rockies’ shortstop Trevor Story did to start the season. Sanchez has hit nine home runs in his first 21 games. He is only one of nine players in MLB history to have 15 or more extra base hits in 21 games and only the second Yankee to do it. Let’s not forget those 21 games include two games in 2015 that he was called up for and one games on May 13th this season before he was sent back to Triple-A.

Though Story and Sanchez do share this honor of being two of a very few hitters to have nine home runs in their first 21 games they both are very different hitters. Story has produced a lot of power this season, but he is not the all-around hitter that Sanchez is showing to be. Story’s home runs are wall scrapers, with an average home run distance of 327 feet, while Sanchez hits not doubter and averages 409 feet. In 2016 Story has an average exit velocity of 91.5 mph as compared to Sanchez’s 94.6 mph. Don’t take my word for it though let’s dive deeper in to what these two rookies did in their first 21 games in the big leagues.

In his first 21 games with the Diamondbacks Trevor Story was putting balls over the wall like it was going out of style. He had ten home runs, one more than Sanchez, but he was prone to the strikeout. Through those first 21 games Story had 35 strikeouts in 97 plate appearances, he was striking out in 36% of his plate appearances. He had a .253 batting average, a .320 on-base percentage and nine walks (only walking in 9% of his PAs).
Sanchez on the other hand has not shown so far to be an all or nothing player. He is hitting .389 with a .450 OBP, only striking out 15 times in 80 plate appearances (19% of the time he strikes out) and walking 10% of the time with 8 walks so far.

Comparing two players strictly based on a 21 game sample size is far from fair and when you look at their minor league numbers these two players do look more similar than they do different with Story having a minor league slash line of .263/.348/.469 and Sanchez .275/.339/.460, but what they will do in the majors long term is still yet to be seen. What is fair to say is that both Sanchez and Story have shown they belong in the big leagues and love to put on a show for the fans. Only thing not enjoying their promotions this year are the baseballs.

(Photo Credit: By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Gary Sanchez) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)