One thing that I think every body reading this can admit is that most human beings lack a sufficient amount of patience. I know I do. I work in a high school so I often times like to think that I actually have a fair amount of patience, and then I get irritated by something so harmless it makes me laugh at myself.
Major League Baseball is a world in which it is easy to remember how impatient we are as human beings. In a world of smart phones and lightning speed internet, we can get a lot of things done immediately. Before anyone rushes to judgment on this next statement, know that I am 23 years old and I am classified as a millennial by most accounts. I truly believe that millennials were born into a world in which patience was more of a characteristic than a virtue.
I say all this to make a point. When the Kansas City Royals brought up a 21-year old “Raul” Mondesi to be the Opening Day second baseman in 2017, I think most Royals fans just assumed that he was ready to play every day. I think even the Royals thought he may have been ready. Well, he wasn’t. He wasn’t even close to being ready to be an every day big leaguer. Mondesi had a nice season in AAA in 2016, but he was still posting wild K/BB rates and needed some seasoning in the minor leagues.
That doesn’t mean that he’s somehow not still a big league prospect (yes it technically means he doesn't qualify for “prospect” status but you get the point). If the Royals would’ve never brought up Mondesi before 2018 (which you can argue they probably shouldn’t have) then I seriously doubt there would be any body doubting him. Between 2016 and 2017, Mondesi posted wRC+’s of 122, 123, and 119 across AA and AAA. In two separate stints he posted SLG% well over .500 and was stealing every base presented to him. He would probably still be among MLB Pipeline’s top 30 prospects or so, but the Royals had to rush him to the big leagues in an effort to keep their competitive window open while Hosmer and Cain were still in town.
This isn’t me saying “I told you so” either. Heading into Tuesday night’s game against Minnesota, Mondesi was still striking out in over 30% of his PA’s and wasn’t walking hardly at all. He owned a 45 wRC+ and, quite frankly, looks wildly inconsistent at times. Then he goes out and has a 2-4 night with a HR and a BB. Over his last 11 games, Mondesi is slashing .275/.293/.500/.793 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, and 2 stolen bases. And, by the way, he’s doing this in the field as well:
Get ready KC.....Mondesi is starting to grow pic.twitter.com/QN2ja1C4hS— JKuhn (@h8rproof82) July 11, 2018
Look. My point is not to sit here and say, “Look! I told you so! Mondesi is a stud and I knew it all along.” That’s not the point I'm making AT ALL. So for you dorks that read this and are ready to small sample size me in the comments, save it.
The point is that some people dismissed Adalberto Mondesi as a big leaguer way too early in his career. The kid turns 23 soon and some people decided it was time to write him off. It’s okay to have the opinion that he won’t be an All-Star. His career K% and SwStr% numbers in the minor leagues are frightening. But dismissing a 22-year old kid with his speed and power combination to go with his potential to be a plus defender at one of the most important positions at the field, because the Royals rushed him to the big leagues, is just silly. Give him some time. Have some patience with the kid. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you’ll look at Adalberto Mondesi a lot differently in October than you did in March.
¡Adalberto Mondesí lidera el racimo de carreras en la 2da entrada! #LosReales pic.twitter.com/GbpowlpbIb— Los Reales (@losreales) July 11, 2018