If we were taking bets as to when Yoan Moncada would end up taking hold of the Boston Red Sox starting third base job, what would be your answer? Well. Think again if you said next year because the answer is probably sooner rather than later.
The Red Sox are in a pennant race and they are receiving little production out of Travis Shaw. Shaw is hitting .205 with a .632 OPS in his last 75 games. It’s simple: he’s not cutting it. The Red Sox want better and Aaron Hill hasn’t been better. But you probably knew that.
They turned to one Double-A guy in Andrew Benintendi earlier this year, so why don’t they go for another? Well, that’s probably what they’ll end up doing.
The plan is Moncada to be up with the big league club — maybe just as a pinch runner, But Man, he could be so much more than that. And he probably will be so much more than that next season. But if he’s capable and talented and really the Red Sox top prospect, they why wouldn’t he get the chance now. It wouldn’t kill his development. The Sea Dogs season is essentially over. He’s hit well. If it doesn’t go well, then they don’t have to force it.
A 20-year-old top prospect gave the Red Sox a boost in 2013: Xander Bogaerts. Moncada is 21. He can drink legally in a bar. Xander couldn’t when his big league career started and look at him now. It’s not like they’re 15 and several years away from the big leagues.
Moncada has a .935 OPS, 11 home runs and nine stolen bases in 44 games for the Sea Dogs this season. Also worth noting: most of his production comes against right-handed pitching.
Next year will be interesting without Ortiz. Shaw will be back, Pablo Sandoval might be healthy and Moncada will have big league experience. No clue how that turns out but here’s a guess: Travis Shaw isn’t the starting third baseman on Opening Day next year. Don’t think it will be Brock Holt, Aaron Hill, Marco Hernandez either.