Many moons ago, a fellow Red Sox blogger took me to task for being unimpressed with Red Sox rookie Abe Alvarez. Honest Abe, as you may recall, was having a pretty good go of things in Double-A Portland back in 2004 when he was called up to the bigs for a spot start. There was a bit of a buzz around Alvy and, not surprisingly, folks were eager to see what he had. Sadly, it wasn’t much; the youngster got hammered in his big league debut, foreshadowing a brief and unimpressive career. I wrote something negative about Abe’s debut, and the aforementioned blogger took me to task for taking this “minor setback” too seriously and not recognizing the great potential.
Ever since then, I’ve been wary of anyone playing up rookies and untested talent. Because for every Mookie Betts, there’s a Brian Rose. For every Xander Bogaerts, there’s a Daniel Bard. Or a Craig Hansen. Or a Will Middlebrooks. Hell, we only have to look back as far as last year when the Sox dropped a record-setting bonus on Rusney Castillo only to discover the guy wasn’t terribly awesome at baseball. You just don’t know until you know.
Yoan Moncada comes to us with great promise and lots of buzz. He’s a big guy, an imposing figure at the plate, and has been called “Mike Trout-esque.” He’s got speed, stealing bases at a clip of 36-for-44 in Salem this year and 9-for-13 in Portland.
Of course, he’s also going to be playing third base (most likely) where he doesn’t have a ton of experience. And we simply have no idea what he can bring at the major league level. So, once again, we just won’t know until we know.
But, Castillo notwithstanding, we’re on a pretty good roll with the youngsters these days. If nothing else, the Moncada Era will inject a little more color and excitement into a make-or-break month for the Boston Red Sox.
In fact, as that Yahoo! piece points out, Moncada isn’t one to shy away from carb loading:
Moncada will eat just about anything. On Thanksgiving in 2014, the Hastingses hosted a party for about 100 people. On the island in their kitchen sat cookies, candy, cakes, all sorts of sweets, and to keep ants away, they set bright-colored boric-acid traps. Moncada thought it was liquid candy and tried to eat it before screams of “No!” caused him to drop it. This wasn’t the first time Moncada mistook a household item for food. He once tried to ingest a berry-scented liquid air freshener, too.