In July of 2011, the Kansas City Royals signed 16-year old Dominican Raul Adalberto Mondesi for $2 million. Mondesi, the son of Raul Mondesi, who played in the major leagues 13 years, mainly with the Los Angeles Dodgers, now plays for the Lexington Legends, the Royals Low-A minor league affiliate. On Monday, still only 17-years old, Raul Adalberto Mondesi hit for the cycle.
The slender Mondesi stands 6’1″ and weighs 165 pounds, and plays shortstop for the Legends. Sunday, Mondesi homered twice but it turned out he was only warming up. On Monday, serving as the designated hitter appropriately enough, he tripled in the first and hit a home run in the third, getting the hardest two parts of the cycle out of the way. He legged out an infield single in the 5th, and doubled in the 6th to complete the feat. The Legends won, 7-4.
Mondesi is now hitting .247 on the year, which is the 3rd highest mark on the team. In 178 at bats, he has 8 doubles, 4 triples, and 4 home runs. He has scored 17 times, and has driven in 28. His strikeouts are high at 50, and his walks are low at 12, but he is just 17 years old. Most of his teammates are 2-4 years older.
Mondesi’s initial season in rookie ball at Idaho Falls last season garnered attention. His slash line was outstanding for a kid who started the season as a 16-year old – .290/.346/.386/.733. He is definitely a player to keep an eye on as he makes his way through the system. As he matures, hopefully his power and patience improve. Fans should not reasonable expect Mondesi to be ready for the majors until 2016, and even then he will only be 20 years old. It will more likely be 2017 at the earliest.
Still, hitting for the cycle as a professional at any level is an impressive feat, especially for a 17-year old kid. Be excited at his potential, but temper expectations to a reasonable level for this kid has a lot of developing to do before he is ready to help the Royals in any capacity other than as trade bait.