Kansas City Royals: Adalberto Mondesi
Middle infielder Adalberto Mondesi has already played parts of two seasons for the Kansas City Royals using his famous father’s first name, Raul. The 22-year-old has elected to play under his middle name going forward, and perhaps a fresh start and new identity will do him good. He rocketed up the farm system and was playing in the playoffs at the age of 19, but has struggled to establish himself at the MLB level.
Mondesi has played .181/.226/.271 in 72 games for the Royals with only nine walks and 70 strikeouts. He was given a chance to win a starting job in 2016, but was demoted after an ugly start. Mondesi hit .305/.340/.539 at Triple-A last year with 13 homers and 52 RBI in 85 games. He also stole 21 bases and was only caught three times.
Expected to contend for a big-league job again out of Spring Training despite the difficulties he has had making contact, Mondesi has been working back from an injured shoulder. He has been playing at Triple-A for less than a month, but has three homers and five steals in 14 games. Mondesi’s approach at the plate still needs some work, as he has only drawn one walk.
The Royals are going nowhere fast until the next wave of talent arrives from the minor leagues. Continuing to play Alcides Escobar at shortstop is doing everyone in the organization a disservice, and his days should be numbered. Mondesi is far from the perfect prospect, but he has a rare blend of speed and power. The Royals need to determine what they have in him ASAP.