The Royals announced that top prospect Raul Mondesi Jr has been called up to the big league club. In order to make room for Mondesi, it was announced that Whit Merrifield has been optioned to AAA Omaha. Mondesi will start 2b tonight and bat 9th.
Mondesi is currently only 20 years old, and has been in the Royals organization since he was 16.
Mondesi missed a large part of the season when he was suspended for 50 games by Major League baseball in accordance with the leagues Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He tested positive for Clenbuterol, a drug that he maintained was in over the counter medication he had bought in the Dominican Republic in order to treat cold like symptoms.
Since returning, Mondesi has been hitting the ball well, and since being moved up to AAA Omaha is hitting .304/.328/.536 in 14 games. This includes 4 triples, 2 doubles and home run. The slick fielding shortstop will most likely man the role now left void at second base with the departure of Whit Merrifield and the earlier release of underperforming Omar Infante.
Whit Merrifield burst on to the scene with the Royals earlier in the season. Through his first 27 games he had a line of .339/.356/.496 but hit a wall and has hit .189/.245/.242 since.
The Royals are looking to spark a struggling offense that currently sits last in the American League in runs scored. The call up of Mondesi provides both a defensive upgrade as well as the possibility of an offensive upgrade and a bat that could project quite well at the top of the order given his speed. Mondesi has 24 stolen bases this season in just 52 games over 3 levels of Minor League ball.
Mondesi became the first player in Major League history to make his debut in the World Series when he appeared with the Royals in the 2016 World Series.
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