Since signing Raul Mondesi in July 2011, the Royals have aggressively moved him up through their system. Their latest move is by far the most aggresive yet.
The Royals added their top prospect, who hasn't played above Double-A yet during his career, to their World Series roster ahead of Game 1 against the Mets in Kansas City on Tuesday. Mondesi, son of the former Major Leaguer of the same name, replaces pinch-runner extraordinaire Terrance Gore and would become the first player ever to make his Major League debut in the World Series if he were to play in the best-of-7 series.
In order to make room on the 40-man roster for the 20-year-old switch-hitting shortstop, the Royals announced they had designated reliever Joba Chamberlain for assignment. Despite not being on the 40-man before Tuesday, Mondesi was still eligible for a postseason roster spot on account of the fact that he was in the organization before Sept. 1, per Major League rules.
The biggest roles Mondesi is likely to fill is as middle-infield depth and as a pinch runner. MLB.com's No. 33 overall prospect has earned plus 60 grades for his glove and arm from MLB.com on the 20-80 scale and has a 70 for his run tool. He swiped 19 bases in 25 attempts at Double-A Northwest Arkansas this season.
It's not likely, however, that Mondesi will see any time at the plate. Playing against competition on average five years older than he with the Naturals in the Texas League, he produced a .243/.279/.372 line with six homers, five triples and 11 doubles in 81 games. Gore, who spent much of the season with Mondesi at Northwest Arkansas, did not get an at-bat during the Royals' Division or Championship Series wins and came in as a pinch runner on two occassions, going 1-for-2 in stolen base attempts.
Mondesi joins the Royals as the seventh infielder on the World Series roster behind starters Eric Hosmer, Ben Zobrist, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas and (designated hitter) Kendrys Morales with utilityman Christian Colon on the bench. He had played with the Royals instructional league team following the end of the Minor League season.