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Young Mondesi busts out for Legends04/19/2013 12:18 AM ET
By Jonathan Raymond / Special to MLB.com
Raul Mondesi might be one of the youngest players in the Class A South Atlantic League. On Thursday, he also was one of the circuit's most prolific hitters.
The 17-year-old shortstop -- who was the youngest player last year in the Rookie-level Appalachian League and was aggressively promoted to the Sally League to begin this season -- homered and tripled twice, driving in a career-high four runs to lead Lexington to a 13-2 romp over Greenville.
Mondesi, the son of former Dodgers outfielder Raul, came into the game with just one extra-base hit over his first 13 games to start the season before smacking three against the Drive. He had been hitting .231/.305/.250 entering the contest, but left with a .263/.328/.404 line.
The four RBIs brought his season total from six to 10. His three hits tied a career best, which he last amassed April 8 against Asheville.
It was an impressive offensive performance from Kansas City's No. 6 prospect, who won't turn 18 until July 27.
Mondesi flew out in his first at-bat before tripling to right field to bring in two runs in the third. He tripled again in his next at-bat in the fourth and scored on right fielder Dreily Guerrero's throwing error.
In his final plate appearance in the seventh, he drove Francisco Taveras' offering over the left-field wall for his first homer of the season, a two-run shot.
Mondesi was signed by Kansas City in mid-2011 for a reported $2 million. He made his American pro ball debut at age 16 last year with Idaho Falls, where he hit .290/.346/.386 in 50 games with the Chukars.
He flashed solid speed, stealing 11 bags while only getting caught twice, and had three homers, two triples and seven doubles in just over 200 at-bats.
"He showed an ability to hit from both sides of the plate, and while he struck out a bit too much, that's not surprising for a player of his age," wrote MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo of his introduction to the pros. "He showed a good understanding of what he was doing up there, perhaps a testament to his lineage."
His brother, Raul Jr., was acquired by Tampa from Milwaukee in December. His father won the 1994 National League Rookie of the Year award and hit 271 home runs during a 13-year career that spanned from 1993-2005.