Last year when Dave Dombrowski called up Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada right before the trade deadline, it was pretty much a trial period for those two players. Benintendi came up to the Majors and he shined, with a .295 batting average, 44 RBI, and eight home runs. He continues to produce this year: .278 average, 17 home runs, and 67 RBI.
Yoan Moncada, however, did not produce well last year when he got his chance. He produced a .211 average, zero home runs, and 1 RBI. So during the off-season President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, traded Yoan Moncada to the Chicago White Sox for ace Chris Sale. Boy did that work out in the Red Sox favor. This season, Moncada has a .205 average, with two home runs, and nine RBI. Compare this to Chris Sale, dominant this season for the Red Sox and proven to be the ace they needed. He has a 2.51 ERA, a 14-4 record, and 241 strikeouts.
Rookies with big bats
This season 20-year-old Rafael Devers was coming through the ranks in the majors and killing the ball. Dave Dombrowski called him up just before the deadline and he stepped up to the league like he owned it. He’s batting with a .339 average, 18 home runs, and 56 RBI. It’s clear the young talent on this team arrives at big moments. Benintendi and Devers both turned in outstanding performances this past weekend at Yankee Stadium in a crucial series for the division.
Dave Dombrowski has been questioned in the past for trading prospects for mediocre talent. For example, trading Travis Shaw to the Brewers for Tyler Thornburg. Thornburg hasn’t thrown a pitch yet in a Red Sox uniform, While Travis Shaw is crushing the ball in Milwaukee. He’s batting a .292 average, with 25 home runs, and 78 RBI. So Dombrowski was wrong on that one but made up for it with the Sale deal, not trading Devers, and adding Nunez at the deadline.
Comparing Devers to Moncada is like night and day. Devers was ready to come into the Majors like Benintendi. Yoan Moncada was not ready and still isn’t. Will Moncada ever work out on a Major League team? That answer still remains to be seen, but for Rafael Devers it’s clear that he’s the best shot for this team moving forward.
Dombrowski got it right trading the right prospect in Moncada, and keeping Rafael Devers, who even started a triple play for the first time since 2011 last night against the Saint Louis Cardinals.