Raul Aldaberto Mondesi was one of two top prospects playing full season baseball in 2013 despite not yet being of legal age, the other being Julio Urias of the Los Angeles Dodgers. One would expect Mondesi to start the season with the Kansas City Royals High-A affiliate, but he has spent much of the spring with the Double-A team.
The first thing that jumps out when seeing Mondesi on the field is the fact he is truly a boy among men, that is until the game starts. The baby faced shortstop does not play like a kid. He can beat out a bunt and steal a bag, making speed a real tool for him.
He looks smooth in the field and has a good arm, but he can rush things at times and the ball can sail on him some. His hips are extremely quick and fluid around the second base bag, and he shouldn’t have any trouble sticking at short for the long term.
Mondesi shows his youth at the plate, but also flashes brilliance. In game action, I have only seen him bat from the left side of the plate, but have seen him take batting practice from the right side. The bat is smooth from both sides of the plate and I couldn’t tell you which side is his most comfortable as both look natural. He can get caught out on his front foot on advanced off-speed stuff and will chase the ball out of the zone at times. He is still incredibly young, but his upside is incredible.
Another Royals prospect with good bloodlines is Jorge Bonifacio, younger brother of Emilio Bonifacio. Jorge’s game will never be that of a speedy utility man like his older brother, but instead his future is as a powerful corner outfielder. He has a massive upper body and is only an average runner, but that is not a bad thing given he could eventually become a middle of the lineup bat. His arm is really good in right and he is very sound defensively as I have only seen him misplay one ball out of about a dozen opportunities. He has a very wide stance at the plate, but his hips get through the zone well. While his best minor league power season has only netted 10 home runs, 20-25 in the big leagues could be in his future.
Bonifacio will probably start the year at Double-A, but should get move up to Triple-A this season. While a September call-up isn’t out of the question, 2015 is a more likely season for him to make his big league debut.