Now 17 years old, Raul Adalberto Mondesi has turned heads since making his pro debut in 2012. He simply added to his growing legend on May 27.
Mondesi hit for the cycle against the Kannapolis Intimidators, going 4 for 4 with three RBI in a 7-4 Lexington Legends win.
Mondesi, son of Raul and brother to Raul Jr., began the 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.
The cycle completed a two-game stretch where Mondesi went 6 for 9 with a double, triple, three home runs, six RBI and a stolen base. Mondesi is hitting .351 in his past 10 games to raise his batting average to .246 on the season.
The 6-foot-1 shortstop’s biggest tool is defense. He features a major league defensive profile, including some of the best range and softest hands in the minors.
The concern is Mondesi’s bat, but several evaluators feel he has the necessary skills to be more than just an outstanding defensive player.
IMPRESSIVE RELIEVER: Charleston RiverDogs reliever Dietrich Enns is making the case to move quickly through the New York Yankees system.
Enns struck out six over four perfect innings against the Augusta GreenJackets on Thursday, giving him a 0.56 ERA in 32⅓ innings out of the bullpen. The left-hander has 54 strikeouts, producing a 43.2 percent strikeout rate, best among relievers in the South Atlantic League.
Enns comes over the top to throw a mid-90s fastball with cutting, sinking action on right-handed batters. He combines it with a sharp breaking slider and solid changeup.
GreenJackets manager Mike Goff said he was impressed with Enns, notably the way he attacked hitters from the left side and used his secondaries well.
Relievers who shut down a league this easily find themselves advancing in short order.
Enns, a 19th-round pick in 2012 out of Central Michigan, should expect a call-up this month.
KICKHAM DEBUTS: On Tuesday, left-hander Mike Kickham became the latest former GreenJacket to make the major leagues, receiving a spot start for the San Francisco Giants.
Kickham’s major league debut didn’t go as planned, as he allowed four runs in 2⅓ innings against the Oakland Athletics.
But he did become the latest in a consistent string of former GreenJackets to make their way to San Francisco.
Kickham made 21 starts for Augusta in 2011, recording a 4.11 ERA with 37 walks to 103 strikeouts. The lefty moved quickly, skipping Class-A Advanced San Jose and pitching all of 2012 at Double-A Richmond. He made 10 starts for Triple-A Fresno this year before getting the spot start.
Kickham was sent back to Fresno after the game to open up the roster spot for right-hander Ramon Ramirez.