Red Sox manager John Farrell said today that “nothing but positives could come” from a September promotion for top infield prospect Yoan Moncada.
This doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing — Dave Dombrowski has seemed bearish on a September callup in the past — but it sure would be exciting to see one of baseball’s best prospects in the heat of a pennant race. Moncada is batting .298/.411/.518 with 15 home runs and 45 steals in 105 games this season between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He’d certainly have some adjustments to make if he skipped Triple-A to hit the bigs, but like Travis Shaw, Aaron Hill, and Brock Holt are tearing up the pea patch.
Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson made such a leap recently. Obviously the pressure on him is much less than that which Moncada would face. But Moncada is going to be a special player eventually and, heck, when would a Boston player NOT be under a microscope?
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.