In order to sign Yoan Moncada not only did the Boston Red Sox need to shell out $62 million, but they also did Moncada a small favor. As part of the deal, the Red Sox agreed to sign a friend and mentor of his—Carlos Mesa—to a Minor League deal.
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Landing the ninth best prospect in organized baseball, the Red Sox were willing to spare a minor league spot for a roster filler if it meant they would land Moncada. After all, that is all Mesa is—a roster filler.
Since the 19-year-old Moncada is slated to start off the 2015 season in low-A Greenville, it is safe to assume Mesa will be tagging along and playing for the Drive in a limited role this season. The 27-year-old played in the Can-Am League last year but struggled. Previously, he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization where he struggled with plate discipline, walking nine times less than struck out. It is fair to say he will not be in the organization past this year, but he could ease Moncada’s transition to the pros.
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While the Drive should have a number of latino players, there will only be two of Cuban descent. It will help Moncada to have someone who has gone through the same experiences as him on the team instead of being isolated by himself. The transition might not be as severe as a Japanese player to the states, but the game is played differently and teams are run differently on Castro’s island.
No matter what numbers Mesa puts up this season, it is fair to say that they will keep him around for quite some time. It will be interesting to see whether or not he progresses through the system as Yoan Moncada does to ease the process. It is fair to say however that Mesa will not follow him to the big leagues, let alone the upper minors.
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