The Royals released the 25 man roster for the World Series today. It is the same as in the previous series' except for one notable difference, Raul Mondesi Jr will take the roster spot previously held by speedster Terrance Gore.
Gore was initially placed on the roster for one reason and one reason only. Speed. He was capable of changing a game in late innings with his legs if need be. The problem for Gore has been that he has yet to cash in on that value. So far in the 2015 Postseason, Gore has only see action in 2 games and has 1 stolen base and 1 caught stealing on his resume.
The addition of Mondesi provides the Royals with a legitimate speed threat as well, albeit a slightly lesser version that Gore. Mondesi also provides value where Gore cannot, and that is as a defender. Mondesi's potential comes into play in the event that Ben Zobrists wife does in fact give birth to their second child and pulls the Royals second baseman away from the club for a game or 2. Currently, the only other option on the roster with TRUE middle infield experience and depth is Christian Colon. Should Colon be forced to start, that would leave few options for manager Ned Yost should something happen to Escobar or Colon.
The immediate option would most likely be to move Moustakas to cover, but the World Series is not the place you want to be playing corner infielders out of position in the middle of your infield. Especially when the entire identity of your team is one of defensive superiority. This is most certainly why Mondesi was chosen over someone like Cheslor Cuthbert who actually has some time in with the Royals this season. Cuthbert has shown some promise with the bat, and even provides a little pop at the plate but is by and large considered strictly a corner infielder and has scouting reports stating he has plenty of trouble with even that.
Mondesi will almost certainly not be used in any pinch hitting situations except in the most dire of circumstances given the fact that he was even outhit in AA by the likes of Terrance Gore himself. Gore finished 2015 in AA with a .677 OPS and Mondesi had a final tally of a .651 OPS. Not the kind of numbers you would want a hitter to have in AA facing World Series caliber pitchers. Without even having a single at bat at the AAA level, he is at best a liability at the plate and at worst an absolute free out.
Mondesi was the 28th best prospect in all of baseball according to the pre-season Baseball America rankings and #27 for Baseball Prospectus. This was his first season in AA, and has been rumored to be on the move to AAA for the 2016 season despite having pedestrian offensive numbers for the 2015 season.
Mondesi will hope to become the first player in Major League history to make his MLB debut in the World Series. It will most likely come as a pinch runner late in a game or quite possibly as a defensive replacement for Colon should Zobrist be out. Either way, he provides and exciting twist to this years World Series.
The rest of the roster is as follows from the Royals twitter page:
— Royals (@Royals) October 27, 2015
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