MLB’s two stockinged franchises made a massive trade this offseason that brought Yoan Moncada to Chicago. The Red Sox sent Moncada (and others) to the White Sox for ace Chris Sale. Right now according to FantasyPros ADP, Moncada is the 208th fantasy baseball option off the board, behind teammate Tim Anderson. While Anderson will play the whole season in Chicago, it’s fair to say he doesn’t have Moncada’s upside. With no guarantee of him being available in 2017, is Yoan Moncada worth the draft-and-stash?[Jeff]
First off, if your fantasy baseball league has an NA slot, then by all means draft and stash. That’s what the NA is for, stashing minor leaguers you want to have under your control. There’s no better use for that slot than the top prospect in baseball. If your league has the slot, I’d snag him in the early double-digit rounds. Roster Resource has him projected with the big league squad at some point this year, so you want to get him under your thumb.
What if you don’t have the NA slot, though? Moncada’s ADP is perfect if you’re strong in pitching and looking for a hitter with tremendous upside to try and balance your roster. However, don’t expect him until after the Super 2 deadline, and maybe not until halfway through the year. This can be a rough proposition if you have just a handful of bench spots, but if your roster is strong in pitching, you don’t need as many spots available. Consider your Moncada roster spot in lieu of your streaming starting pitcher slot.
Moncada is absolutely worth the gamble, given that he is literally the top prospect in baseball with great positional flexibility. He played third base last year, is transitioning to second, and the White Sox believe he has a future in center. That is great positional flexibility that will reward your investment once Moncada makes it to the majors. Moncada has elite speed, good power, and very good batting average skills. His major knock was striking out in 60% of his 20 major league plate appearances last year; while his strikeout rate won’t be this high, it’s still concerning.
Moncada will produce down the line, his power/speed combo at so many positions is a must-have, especially if he comes sooner rather than later. The White Sox aren’t going to be going anywhere anytime soon, so he’s likely looking at a mid-season call-up. If you have deep rosters, drafting Moncada is a no-brainer due to his talent, but in shallow bench leagues, let someone else draft him then snatch him up when they drop him in a late-May roster crunch.