Thursday, July 26, 2012
Notes on Adalberto Mondesi
I recently had the privilege of watching Adalberto Mondesi play in several games. So, I thought I'd offer up some of my thoughts on the recently turned seventeen year old. First off, I don't pretend to be a scout but I do believe that observations can be made by anyone. Since most Royals fans have never had the opportunity to watch this kid play, it only made sense to pass forward some of my thoughts.
In case you are unaware, Adalberto Mondesi signed for $2 million last July. He is a short stop and he is the son of former Major League Raul Mondesi. Despite being the youngest player in his league and the fourth youngest player in all of Rookie League baseball, Mondesi has hit .315/.379/.402 in twenty-two games this season.
Upon signing with the Royals, Mondesi was said to be 5-11 and 160 pounds. His player profile on MinorLeagueBaseball.com lists him at 6-1, 165. I can't be totally sure of his height based off my vantage point, but he definitely has a build very similar to Alcides Escobar. Defensively, he was very adept at charging balls and routinely displayed a very strong throwing arm. However, there were two occasions during the four games I watched that he committed errors on balls to his right.
On these plays Mondesi attempted to backhand the ball, and each time the ball ricocheted off his glove. But on both plays, Mondesi also was able to snatch the ball out of the error and fire to first making the play close despite the miscue. Sometimes even errors can show the athleticism of a particular fielder. Also keep in mind that this is a minor year old already playing in the Pioneer League.
When the Royals signed Mondesi, skeptics would have likely pointed to the bat as a reason of developmental concern. Clearly, Mondesi is doing his best to alleviate those fears. I saw a guy that obviously knew how to handle the bat. He had good bat speed, and other than an at bat against Damien Magnifico (look him up) I don't recall seeing him get a single pitch blown by him.
Mondesi's plate approach was also very promising in my eyes. Even though he was normally several years younger than the pitchers he was facing he always had a good plan at the plate. He picked his spots to sell out for a bit more power and would buckle down with two strikes. He didn't show much power in those four games, but he did show a consistent line drive stroke using the whole field from both sides of the plate.
Mondesi is a guy who should really shoot up prospect rankings this winter, assuming he can keep up the pace in the second half. I definitely will be bumping him way up my personal ranks. I've got some notes on several other Royals prospects and in particular I plan on writing a post focusing on Elier Hernandez and another on Jin-Ho Shin. Stay tuned.