The 17-year-old Raul Adalberto Mondesi has turned plenty heads since making his pro debut in 2012. He simply added to the growing legend Monday night.
Mondesi hit for the cycle against the Kannapolis Intimidators, going 4 for 4 with three RBI in the 7-4 Lexington Legends win.
Mondesi, son of Raul and brother to Raul Jr., began his game with a triple in the first inning. He followed with a home run in the third, getting the two toughest hits out of the way early.
The single came in the fifth, followed by a two-run double in the sixth to seal the cycle.
Mondesi is 6 for his last 9 with three home runs and six RBI, raising his triple slash to .247/.292/.404 with eight doubles, four triples and four home runs along with 10 stolen bases.
The 6-foot-1 shortstop's biggest tool is his defense, as he features a plus defensive profile, including some of the best range and softest hands in the minors. He has cut down on errors in May, and most of his 11 errors are likely the result of getting to balls most shortstops can't. You also can't forget he's 17 and will make a mental error or two as he learns.
A scout told me Mondesi is the real deal, head and shoulders above the other shortstops in the South Atlantic League. We all know about his defensive tools, but the scout made sure to point out he can hold his own with the bat. The numbers might not be spectacular, but he shows the ability necessary to avoid getting the bat knocked from his hands in the upper levels. He shouldn't be a glove-only shortstop.
Jason Parks, prospect writer at Baseball Prospectus, said Mondesi "isn't a normal prospect." I tend to agree.