BOSTON (CBS) — Making the jump to the major leagues is never easy, and Yoan Moncada is learning that the hard way. The top Red Sox prospect will get a day off on Wednesday after striking out four times against the Padres in San Diego Tuesday night. Travis Shaw will get the start at third base in his place.
Moncada also struck out three times on Monday, making it seven straight at-bats with a strikeout. Moncada has struck out 10 times in his first 18 major-league plate appearances, spanning five games. His struggles have mainly come with breaking pitches.
“They’ve thrown a lot of [breaking balls] and it’s been throwing me off a little bit but just have got to work on seeing them better and making contact,” Moncada told reporters after Tuesday’s game.
David Ortiz and Dave Dombrowski both personally spoke to Moncada after the game, according to Ian Browne of MLB.com. On his talk with the Red Sox president of baseball operations, Moncada said, “He just told me to keep my head up and keep working hard because the big leagues are tough for someone who’s new … This is something that happens.”
Ortiz, who also struggled early in his career, reportedly told Moncada to simply keep working on improving and the hits will come. As Baseball America’s top midseason prospect, Moncada’s current state certainly won’t be the norm for the dynamic 21-year-old.
“I had a couple of bad days but all I can do is keep working on what I’ve been working on and keep moving forward,” said Moncada. “These won’t be my first strikeouts and they won’t be my last.”
Overall, Moncada is batting .235 with an RBI and three runs scored in fives games since making the jump from Double-A to the majors.