Between his capricious youth, switch-hitting stick and flashy defensive chops as a middle infielder, Raul Mondesi offers an exciting package of tools. His bat showed flashes of being an impact tool for the first time in the minors this past season, but his ultimate offensive potential is still up in the air. Since the vast majority of fantasy games are predicated solely on offensive contributions, the stage is set for Mondesi to disappoint his backers, at least for the next couple seasons. Complicating matters further, Mondesi served a 50-game suspension for a positive PED test in 2016. His plate development will likely take time, and he'll probably have to earn his education at the highest level, given that his defense is ready to contribute right now. This element gives Mondesi some extra intrigue in dynasty formats, but there is a non-zero chance that his bat continues to be a work in progress in 2017 even if the Royals hand him the keys to shortstop or second base.
Manager Ned Yost has named Mondesi as the Royals' Opening Day starter at second base, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. Mondesi beat out Whit Merrifield and Christian Colon for the job at second base. The 21-year-old struggled at the plate during his 47 games with the Royals in 2016, slashing just .185/.231/.281 over 149 plate appearances, though he did flash impressive defense and swipe nine bases (on 10 attempts). His speed and defense, coupled with his impressive spring -- where he is 17-for-46 with three homers (.370/.383/.609) -- have made him a popular late-round middle infield target, one that is even more justifiable now that he is solidified as the starter.
Mondesi went 1-for-2 with a run scored and three stolen bases in Sunday's game against the Angels. The 21-year-old had only one stolen base in his first 18 Cactus League games, but he flashed the kind of speed Sunday that has made him a popular late-round middle infield target. Mondesi went 9-for-10 on the basepaths and provided stellar defense in 47 games with the big club last season, but batted just .185/.231/.281 over 149 plate appearances. He's gone 17-for-46 with three homers and a 1:12 BB:K so far this spring (.370/.383/.609) and looks poised to break camp as the starter at second base.
Mondesi (back) will man second base and bat in the leadoff spot in Sunday's Cactus League game against the Cubs, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Mondesi had been out of action the last two days while dealing with lower-back tightness, but the Royals never viewed it as a long-term concern. With Mondesi back in action after the brief absence, he'll look to continue his stellar spring training, during which he's gone 13-of-30 (.433 average) with two homers and two doubles. Those excellent numbers may be enough to keep him ahead of Whit Merrifield and Christian Colon in the competition for starting duties at second base.
Mondesi was a late scratch from Friday's Cactus League lineup with lower back tightness, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports. Humberto Arteaga took his place at second base. Mondesi is having a great spring, batting .433 with two home runs and three RBI over 13 games. Consider him day-to-day until further information becomes available.
Mondesi is back in the lineup playing second base on Monday, Josh Vernier of 610 Sports Radio reports. Mondesi left last Friday's game with what the Royals thought was a concussion, but the 21-year-old passed all the necessary tests and will be back on the field after completing a workout on Sunday with no issues. He'll continue to battle it out in a four-way competition for the second base job.