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Royals prospect Raul Mondesi: Borderline grading dilemma

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Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Still working on the Royals prospect list. There are lots of tough calls and borderline grades in this group. Case in point: shortstop prospect Raul Mondesi. Here is the rough draft comment from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book.

Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals
Bats: S Throws: R HT: 6-1 WT: 165 DOB: July 27, 1995

This profile hasn’t changed much. Raul Mondesi, once again, was extremely young for his league, just age 19/20 in Double-A. Raul Mondesi, once again, was an erratic and overall-mediocre hitter, unable to control the strike zone effectively and striking out too much for a guy with little Isolated Power. Raul Mondesi, once again, used his speed well on the bases (when he managed to get on base). Raul Mondesi, once again, shows the physical tools necessary to be an excellent major league shortstop defensively, though the polish isn’t quite there yet. Raul Mondesi, once again, impresses all scouts and observers with his physical tools, but generates mixed opinions about his future projection. If you think the hitting skills will come, he’s a future star. If you think the hitting skills will stay substandard, he’s a mediocre regular at best or just a reserve. Personally I’ve gone back and forth on him. I was pretty optimistic around mid-season after being impressed with his defensive work and buying into the offensive projection, but then his bat fell apart again late in the year (1-for-22 with 14 strikeouts in September) and I had a slump-concurrent negative report from a trusted source to add to the mix. Moving him up to a Grade B+ seems acceptable but the bat is a real issue.