BOSTON (CBS) — Red Sox fans may get their first look at phenom Yoan Moncada in the very near future.
MLB rosters expand on Thursday, and Boston manager John Farrell said Wednesday morning that he and the Red Sox brass have already discussed bringing the 21-year-old prospect aboard for Boston’s postseason run.
And if Moncada is on the roster, it will be in a much bigger role than just the occasional appearance on the base paths.
“We’ve talked about Yoan, and not just as a pinch-runner. He’s an exciting young player, extremely talented guy. There are all positive reviews and evaluations of him. When that Major League experience will initiate, time will tell. But in terms of playing the position of third base, that conversation has been had,” Farrell told reporters.
Moncada has been manning third base for Double-A Portland since the start of August and has looked good in his transition from second base. That is good news for the Red Sox, with Travis Shaw and Aaron Hill providing little offense from that position.
Moncada is hitting .295 with a .935 OPS with the Sea Dogs, clubbing 11 homers in 44 games. While matchups would determine when Moncada plays when he arrives in Boston, Farrell doesn’t see any downside to bringing Boston’s top prospect up for a taste of the majors.
“By all accounts, there is nothing but positives that can come out of experience here if that were to happen,” he said. “It has been beneficial for the young player to come up. I don’t want to say they’re overlooked, but they find a way to contribute in a meaningful role. Without saying it’s a definite, there is a lot that is going for it.”
Farrell likened the potential late-season addition of Moncada to the boost the Red Sox received in the past from youngsters like Jacoby Ellsbury in 2007 and Xander Bogaerts in 2013.
“Teams that have had success have always had an injection of young players late in the season who have helped carry the team through the postseason,” he said.
That youngster appeared to be Andrew Benintendi, who hit .324 with the Red Sox after being called up from Double-A at the start of August, but a nasty knee injury he suffered last week has him on the DL. Boston’s initial plan was to ease Benintendi into the mix, a plan Farrell said the rookie “blew the doors off of” with his success at the plate.
Perhaps Moncada can repeat that magic whenever he gets the call to the big leagues. And judging from Farrell’s comments on Wednesday, don’t be surprised if that happens before the weekend.