Top Red Sox prospect, Mets No. 25 prospect earn circuit's awards
Yoan Moncada has stolen 41 bases in 49 games during the second half of the season. (Tracy Proffitt/MiLB.com)
By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | September 1, 2015 11:51 AM
If we measure success by awards -- Kanye West's confusion aside -- then consider Yoan Moncada's first season in the Red Sox system a triumphant one.
The top Red Sox prospect was named the South Atlantic League's Most Outstanding Major League Prospect and earned the second base spot on the Class A circuit's end-of-season All-Star team, the league announced Tuesday. Mets prospect and Savannah infielder Luis Guillorme earned MVP honors while Pirates and West Virginia right-hander Yeudy Garcia was named Most Outstanding Pitcher.
Moncada famously signed for a record $31.5 million signing bonus back in March after defecting from Cuba. Because the Red Sox were already over their international bonus limit, they actually had to pay $63 million after taxes to ink the highly coveted, multi-tooled infielder. After starting the year in extended spring training, Moncada made his Minor League debut May 18 for Greenville and struggled out of the gate, hitting just .200 with a .576 OPS in 25 games during the first half of the Sally League season. He's since pulled a 180 and has had much more success as he's become acquainted with life in the States. The 20-year-old has a .328/.432/.540 line with seven homers, 26 RBIs and 41 stolen bases in 49 games after the All-Star break.
Even after his initial struggles, he still sits third in the circuit with 45 steals on the season, and his .847 OPS would rank third if he had enough at-bats to qualify. Moncada is ranked as MLB.com's No. 8 overall prospect.
Guillorme, the Mets' No. 25 prospect, enjoyed a breakout season at the plate for Savannah en route to MVP honors. The 2013 10th-rounder leads the league with 136 hits and a .314 average, through Monday's games, and has added 14 doubles, 55 RBIs and 17 steals for good measure. The 20-year-old has earned rave reviews for his defensive play at shortstop and could climb higher in the prospect rankings in future seasons if he can come close to matching those offensive numbers at higher levels.
Garcia thrived in his first stateside season after making the jump from the Dominican Summer League in 2014 straight to West Virginia this summer. The 22-year-old right-hander leads the SAL with a 2.11 ERA and ranks second with 12 wins, third with a 1.05 WHIP and tied for fifth with 106 strikeouts. MLB.com ranks the Dominican Republic native as the No. 20 prospect in the Pirates' system.
2015 South Atlantic League Postseason All-Star Team
* Most Valuable Player
† Most Outstanding MLB Prospect
‡ Most Outstanding Pitcher
Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.