Why the comparison? Outside of the obvious connection the Yankees could have had both if they offered roughly $9 million more in value to Moncada, the Cuban stud is now in the Red Sox farm system instead.
Moncada is currently the third ranked prospect in all of baseball while Mateo is sitting somewhere in the 80’s, most recently ranked 87th. Expect that to change when the midseason reviews come out if Mateo keeps doing what he’s doing.
Moncada is clearly ready for AA ball and is allegedly being held back due to cold weather in the northeast, but he is hitting a robust: .324/.452 with 3 HR, 19 RBI, 28K, 19SB in 108 at bats. That’s what you expect from a top prospect with a long resume of success as a teenager in Cuba.
It’s Mateo taking the world by storm. The Yankees’ current shortstop is hitting: .357/.414 with 4 HR, 22 RBI, 28K, 9SB in 115 at bats.
Pick your poison, the higher batting average and slightly more power or the better base running and higher on base percentage. Either way, you have to admit it’s close, and Moncada is a month older than Mateo.
Mateo has some room for improvement, he’s currently 9/17 in stolen base attempts and has six errors at shortstop. However, Moncada has five errors at second base, so it’s fair to say Mateo is quickly building a case to be a fresh 21-year-old in AA Trenton very soon, possibly as early as next month.
Expect Mateo to be in the top 50 prospects by the end of the year and possibly on the front end of that list as he continues to develop power and make better base running decisions with his blazing speed.
With Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez knocking on the door and Greg Bird having already burst through it last season, New York finally appears to have found a solution for developing position players, which can bode well for the immediate future of the franchise as it attempts to shed bad contracts from older players.
For Mateo, he’s the less heralded prospect with a smaller sample size but his raw tools are panning out so far. Mateo will indisputably be the Yankees’ top prospect once Judge makes his debut sometime in the majors this season and with good reason.
He has not disappointed yet in his early career.