Highly coveted international Free Agent SS Yoan Moncada hosted a showcase yesterday at a facility in his newly established residence in Guatemala. An estimated 60 to 70 Scouts and executives from every MLB team (sans the Los Angeles Angels) attended the event to feast their eyes on what potentially could be the single largest name to come out of Cuba at his age in MLB history. Even though the 19 year old is subject to MLB international signing rules, it is widely anticipated that Moncada will receive a record breaking bonus from someone once he is cleared by the United States Foreign Assets Control Office.
Moncada ran the bases, a 60 yd dash, took batting practice, and took infield grounders from his natural position of SS, as well as, 3B and 2B. According to scouts, Moncada showed true "five-tool potential" through-out the day. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo was on site and talked to a number of scouts and executives to get their opinions on the showcase. A scouting director stated, "He's worth going way over your international spending pool in my opinion. This game is about talent and Moncada is the kind of talent worth the investment."
It was previously reported that he beat Rusney Castillo in a foot race and the speed gauge was true. He ran his 60 yard dash in 6.6 seconds which resulted in scouts giving him a 70 grade for his speed. Scouts also gave the switch hitting infielder a 60 grade for his hit tool and a 60 grade for his power from both sides of the plate. They were disappointed that he did not face "live pitching," however, they still came away quite giddy about his hitting potential.
Defensively, Moncada showed plenty of arm strength at all 3 positions netting himself a 60 grade for his arm at SS. While scouts were satisfied with his performance at SS, his arm accuracy looked better from 3B and 2B than it did at SS. Coming out of the showcase, scouts gave him an average 50 grade for his abilities at SS which could play up to 60 grades at 3B and 2B.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports was also on site and talked to 2 General Managers and 2 other executives about what they think Moncada is worth with the international signing rules in mind. The signing bonus values ranged anywhere from $30 million to $40 million. If Moncada were an American citizen coming out of High School, many believe he would be the unanimous #1 draft pick. "(He is) the best amateur player available, better than any draft-eligible high school or college player, better potentially even than Yasmany Tomas."
Only time will tell if the Mets are going to be interested in committing that kind of money to Moncada. The chips seem to be in perfect alignment though as the Mets do not have a 1st round draft pick in 2015 and could potentially "replace" it by signing Moncada. The team is also very active in the interntional market, having signed 6 IFA's so far this year, and has a history of finding quality IFA's at lower bonus prices such as Vicente Lupo, Marcos Molina, Gabriel Ynoa, and Ali Sanchez. One could say that due to the scouting network the Mets have built, a $300k limitation next year would not hurt them as much as other teams.
At this point though every team, minus the Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers who are limited to only $300k by their overspends last year, seems to be good bets to sign Moncada. For those interested in what those grades equal to in terms of MLB production see below.
60 hit tool = .280 avg
60 power = 23-27 HR
70 speed = 25-30 SB