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How to Value Yoan Moncada in a Dynasty League

On February 23rd, a mere four days ago, the Boston Red Sox struck what was to many an unexpected deal with the latest Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada for 31.5 million dollars.  It was known that the Red Sox would be in the running for Moncada but the need was simply not there in the same way as it was for the Yankees and Dodgers.  The Dodgers refused to sign him until after July 2nd but were reportedly willing to go as high as 35 million and the Yankees felt anything past 27 million was too rich for their blood.

In getting Moncada the Red Sox keep him from a division rival and in my opinion this move vaults their farm system which was lacking impact talent at the top into the top three in all of baseball.  The Yankees roster on the other hand continues to get older as their last four major free agent hitter signings of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, and Chase Headley have all been over 30 years old at the time of signing.  The path to playing time would have been clearer had he ended up elsewhere but he is still worth chasing in all dynasty leagues.

In an excellent interview posted yesterday on Fangraphs, Kiley McDaniel sits down with Moncada and asks him some questions one of which was where he wants to play.  Moncada responds by saying “Second base is my baby”, and “Robinson Cano was his favorite player”.  How the Yankees didn’t sign him I will never know but with Pedroia entrenched at the position in Boston for the next seven years second base doesn’t seem like a possibility for him.

The most likely path to playing time is a move to third base displacing Pablo Sandoval after the 2017 season.   I envision first baseman Mike Napoli either signing a one year deal after this season or walking and giving way to an internal option like Allen Craig for 2016.  In 2017 Moncada will be turning 22 and have two full minor league seasons under his belt and the weighty Sandoval will be over 30.  David Ortiz could be on his way out the door as well by that time so there will be plenty of room for lineup maneuvering.

Physically Moncada has the tools to play anywhere on the diamond other than shortstop and catcher since he is already bigger than most shortstops and has had no reps at the catcher position.  With a crowded already crowded and the value of premium bats in the infield a move to third gives the Red Sox the most value.  I have decided on one thing about Moncada his likely position in the big leagues will be third base.

On February 17th I finished ranking my Top 100 Dynasty League Prospects and did not include the unsigned Moncada on the list.  If I were to slot him in today he would rank number ten overall and he would be the third best third base prospect behind Kris Bryant and Miguel Sano.  The reason I am not willing to go higher than 10th with Moncada is because despite his success in the international tournaments he has never faced pitching as advanced as what the guys above him have seen.

When assessing Moncada purely for upside there is an argument to be made that the tools alone might be louder than any prospect not named Kris Bryant or Byron Buxton.  The arm is elite, the speed is elite, the bat speed is elite, and the power should be plus.  It isn’t hard for me to envision a scenario where Moncada ends up a better third baseman than the Sano and with Bryant unsure to stay at the position it makes him even more enticing.

Moncada is a solid 6ft and 210 pound switch hitter who made it to professional baseball in Cuba at just 17 years old.  Over his two years in the Cuban National Series he slashed .277/.388/.380 which is impressive for a teenager but not indicative of his true power potential.  He will likely start his age 20 season in A-ball and move quickly but after taking time off during the process of getting to America there will be some rust.

In 2015 dynasty league drafts I think that Moncada should be valued as the number one new prospect in the player pool over established players like Carlos Rodon and other international signees Jung-ho Kang and Yasmany Tomas.  The potential is there for a third baseman who has at least 20/20 capabilities and the tools to hit over .280.  Tomas and Kang have far lower ceilings and Rodon is after all just a pitcher.  While little is known now about Moncada this next year should provide clarity as to what the future holds but I advise everyone to follow him closely next season and make every effort to obtain him.

Jake Devereaux also writes for BaseballProf.com You can follow him on Twitter @DevJake

The Author

Jake Devereaux

Jake Devereaux

20 Comments

  1. […] Prospect News: TheDynastyGuru.com wonders how dynasty/keeper league owners should value Yoan […]

  2. DodgerBlue
    February 27, 2015 at 11:12 am — Reply

    12tm, standard 5×5, h2h, keep 25 of 36.
    I’m pretty set on my top 22-23 but am struggling with how to align my last 2-3 keeps, could u please weigh in? Thx

    C-
    1b – Rizzo
    2b- Cano
    3b- machado
    SS-
    Ci- pujols
    Mi- rendon
    OF x 4- j upton, springer, yoenis, soler
    Utility-
    Bn- sano, correa, Dahl, Clint Frazier

    P x8- kluber, jzimm, cashner, stroman, arrieta, carrasco, taijuan, Cody Allen.
    Bn- Archie, giolito

    That puts me at 23 with 2 to go, who ya got?
    Wilin Rosario, Wilmer Flores, josh Harrison, Alfaro, mike Taylor, gab Guerrero, Tim Anderson.
    Britton, Heaney, berrios, manaea, kazmir.

    I’m basically between Tim Anderson, Wilmer Flores, Harrison, Britton, Heaney, manaea.
    Damn it’s tough. Like the upside of Tim A, Flores would give me a shot at weak position too but also wonder if Britton, Harrison provide me with that now factor. Do I consider dropping anyone that I have kept like allen? Anyhow that’s my dilemma, thx for bearing w the long question. Which 2 of 6??

    • February 27, 2015 at 3:06 pm — Reply

      I’d personally not keep Archie and I’d go with Britton, Harrison and Anderson. Anderson has so much upside and I love the combo of Allen and Britton. Archie is a long term project and Harrison and Britton make you immediately better.

  3. Jay
    March 1, 2015 at 2:18 am — Reply

    If Moncada was avaliable in my dynasty FAAB pool to start the year- out of a $1000 budget would it be crazy of me to put every dollar of that to get him? I do have $0 bids each week. Thanks!

    • March 1, 2015 at 1:19 pm — Reply

      There likely wont be another free agent of his caliber this season in your league and if you don’t think your window of competing for a title is this year then go for it. Conversely if you think your team is so well situated that you can get by with just 0 dollar bids then I would do it in that case as well.

  4. March 1, 2015 at 4:44 pm — Reply

    I have the 1.01 in the TDGR league. I have a decent team, but injuries to Zimmerman, Profar, Belt, etch… destroyed me. I’m not going to win, but its not as far off as it looks.
    Which current MLB players do you see worth trading the rights to Moncada?

    • March 1, 2015 at 7:52 pm — Reply

      Hey MaineSkin,

      This is a bit of a tricky question but I will do my best with it. Its so hard to say whom on your team you should part ways with for Moncada but looking at the list of top 200 players we have compiled over at baseball prof I think I would feel comfortable trading anyone after number 120 for Moncada in a dynasty league. Now this is all considering I don’t know what your roster construction is but he has the look of a future star. http://www.baseballprof.com/2015-fantasy-baseball-top-200-rankings/ If there are any specific scenario’s you want to post I would be happy to weigh in on those either here or on twitter. Thanks for reading and the question!

  5. […] – TheDynastyGuru.com wonders how dynasty/keeper league owners should value Yoan […]

  6. Brandon
    March 5, 2015 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    Great insight into this kid, Thanks! I’m struggling with how to pursue Moncada. I’ve got the first pick this year in my dynasty league. It sounds like best case scenario is that he won’t hit the big leagues until after this season. Is he still worth the first pick of the draft? I can keep 10 players, here is my team as of now:

    C – Derek Norris
    1B – David Ortiz*
    2B/3B – Daniel Murphy*
    2B/3B/SS/OF – Brock Holt
    2B/SS – Javier Baez*
    3B – Manny Machado*
    SS – Starlin Castro*
    ** OF – Yoenis Cespedes*
    OF – Adam Jones*
    OF – Gregory Polanco
    OF – Rymer Liriano
    OF – Byron Buxton

    ** SP – Julio Teheran*
    SP – Gerrit Cole*
    SP – Danny Duffy
    SP – Jeremy Hellickson
    SP – Ervin Santana
    SP – Kevin Gausman
    SP – James Paxton
    SP – Ian Kennedy
    SP – Carlos Carrasco
    SP – Archie Bradley

    I must Keep Teheran and Cespedes, because I traded for them during the offseason. The players with one * after their name is someone I’m keeping… Who’s my 10th keeper? Basically, is Moncada worth sitting on until he starts to make a splash?

    • March 5, 2015 at 1:10 pm — Reply

      I’d keep Carlos Carrasco as your tenth keeper in this situation. As far as Moncada goes, I think he is absolutely worth sitting on until he comes up because you could be looking at a 20/20 infielder. There is no other player more worthy of a first rounder in dynasty leagues this year other than maybe Carlos Rodon if your team is in a position to win this year. Carrasco could be an absolute stud this year.

      • Brandon
        March 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm — Reply

        Good point. Thanks. I am also lucky enough to have 5 picks in the first 3 rounds. So hopefully I’ll be able to get a successful team organized and NOT finish at the bottom of the pack this year 🙂

    • March 5, 2015 at 3:16 pm — Reply

      I would be hesitant to keep David Ortiz, as well. I don’t argue that he will perform well this year; however, he continues to be a year-to-year lease player. I would much rather keep a guy like Gregory Polanco, esp. since he will be the outright starter in Pitt this year. I agree w/ Carrasco, esp. since you are stacked, offensively.

      • Brandon
        March 8, 2015 at 2:16 pm — Reply

        mmm… Interesting insight. Makes sense. I like the idea of getting younger, by keeping Polanco.

  7. March 6, 2015 at 9:20 am — Reply

    […] The much anticipated signing of Moncada finally happened on Febuary 23rd and oddly enough it wasn’t by the teams that needed him most, the Yankees and the Dodgers, but rather the Red Sox.  It isn’t yet known where he will play long term but there is a good chance he ends up at third base.  The tools across the board are as loud as any in the minor leagues and if he had a clearer path to playing time and a sooner ETA he would rank even higher.  Moncada is one of the most valuable pieces in dynasty leagues despite never playing a single minor league game.  For more in depth analysis on Moncada you can check out my longer article on him here. […]

  8. Andy
    March 15, 2015 at 3:30 pm — Reply

    Dynasty league where our leftover auction money converts into FAAB and then the FAAB back into auction money at draft time. Meaning everyone has a different budget. I have $415, 7th most out of 12 teams. With blind bidding how high would you bid?

    • March 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm — Reply

      Andy, Its very hard to gauge exactly how much you should bid considering your league has more money to play with than most typical auction leagues. However I would value Moncada the same way you would a top 10 prospect or a top 120 MLB player. He recently just went for $18,000,000 in my scoresheet league IFA draft which was over double the cost of the highest international free agent the league has ever had sign. He is a special grab.

  9. March 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm — Reply

    Hello! This article is everything I’ve been looking for with Moncada not included in enough rankings yet, so THANK YOU!
    I’m in a 12 team keeper league. We keep 11 or 12 players each year along with rights over 2 prospects, total roster size is 27. I mortgaged my team’s future in order to win the title one year and have been in a rebuilding period ever since, hoping to contend in 2016 or 2017.
    My current roster:
    Matt Adams, Kolten Wong, Starlin Castro, Nolan Arenado, Michael Brantley, Mookie Betts, Oswaldo Arcia, Julio Teheran, Alex Cobb, Shelby Miller, Ken Giles. The prospects I have rights to are Jorge Soler & Joc Pederson.

    I have the 2nd and 14th picks in the draft and am wondering how you would rank the following guys?
    I am debating between Moncada, Rodon, Urias, Dickerson, & Carrasco for my top pick. I’m leaning towards Moncada, but unsure if it’s too soon given how little experience he has against advanced pitching.

    Top hitter available in the draft is Corey Dickerson
    Top pitchers available in the draft are: Carlos Carrasco, Iwakuma, Lynn, Bailey, Archer, Latos, Cashner, Ryu, Liriano, Odorizzi
    Top prospects available in the draft:
    Yoan Moncada, Carlos Rodon, Julio Urias, Rougned Odor, Dalton Pompey, Andrew Heaney, Alex Meyer, Tyler Glasnow, Dahl, etc.

    Any advice before my draft on Thursday night would be much appreciated!!!

    • March 31, 2015 at 9:07 pm — Reply

      Hey Brian thanks for reading and for liking the article! It looks like your team has a pretty solid offense. I would likely go for starting pitching with those first two picks and if you are aiming to compete in a year or two I would go Rodon and Carrasco. Urias is great but real far away. With Soler and Joc Pederson I would say your offense has enough to go pitching on both picks. Good luck in your draft. You are in a good position.

      • April 1, 2015 at 12:26 pm — Reply

        Thanks for the reply Jake! Yes you’re right I need pitching much more, but pitching seems to be deeper as well and you never know when a guy will need Tommy John Surgery and lose a season. My team needs pitching, but I’m worried to pass up on my chance to get Moncada and then in a year or two he’s the new Mike Trout. The team that has won the past 3 seasons once was in last and then gambled on Trout, Goldschmidt, Kershaw, Sale, and others and is unbeatable now until some new superstars enter the game. Basically I need the next Trout or Kershaw to win. Could Moncada be that guy for me? Or is Rodon the better bet? I think you’re right on Urias. I’d love to get Carrasco, but he’ll likely be gone before my 14th pick and he’s much older than Rodon so I’d take Rodon over him at #2. I may just have to flip a coin…

        • April 1, 2015 at 10:58 pm — Reply

          I suppose it is possible Moncada could be the next Trout but it is highly unlikely. Best case I see is the Cano with speed comp but I believe he ends up at the hot corner so it won’t be as special there. I would probably take Rodon over him given your roster construction simply because of your need at pitching. Sometimes it is better to take the sure thing. Also Trout, Goldy, Kershaw, and Sale is a great combo but injuries happen in baseball so all you can do is build your team up to be the best it can be regardless of your competition. Hope this helps some.

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