The Royals have announced they have promoted top prospect Raul Mondesi to the Major Leagues, and have optioned infielder Whit Merrifield to AAA Omaha. The 20-year old infielder began the year at AA Northwest Arkansas and hit .259/.331/.448 with 17 steals in 18 attempts in 29 games, but had to serve a 50 game suspension for Clenbuterol. He was promoted to AAA Omaha shortly after his reinstatement and hit .304/.328/.536 in 14 games.
Raul Mondesi Jr: hitting 268/332/469 this year over 3 levels. 9 doubles, 6 triples, 7 homers. 24 stolen bases in 25 attempts.— Brandon H. (@BHIndepMO) July 26, 2016
Mondesi is the consensus top prospect in the Royals farm system as a switch-hitting middle infielder with plus speed, solid defense, and some power. He plays mostly shortstop, but has played some second base, which he will presumably play at the Major League level. He had not put up very good minor league numbers until this year, but has been very young at every level. He does have trouble with plate discipline, and has a career walk rate of 6.1% with a strikeout rate of 25%. Mondesi is the son of the former big league outfielder of the same name, who played 13 years in the big leagues, mostly with the Dodgers. The younger Mondesi was on the World Series roster for the Royals, becoming the first player ever to make his Major League debut in the World Series.
Whit Merrifield got off to a hot start in his rookie season but has hit just .218 over his last 29 games. Overall, he was hitting .271/.305/.381 with 2 HR 17 RBI and 50 strikeouts in 220 plate appearances.