Royals’ Mondesi could make big league debut in World Series
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Raul Mondesi played 13 seasons in the big leagues. He suited up for 1,325 games and stepped to the plate 6,639 times, patrolling the outfield for seven different clubs.
He never once appeared on a World Series roster.
His 20-year-old kid can already hold that over him.
Raul Mondesi Jr. was added to the Kansas City Royals’ 25-man roster before Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Mets on Tuesday. If he gets into a game, the utility man would become the first player in major league history to make his big league debut in the Fall Classic.
”I’m ready, because I saw my dad playing all the years,” Mondesi said. ”So that’s not – it’s something big, but I’m ready to help the team.”
Mondesi was keeping fit in Arizona when he was summoned to Kansas City to work out with the team after the AL Championship Series. He was added to the roster at the expense of Terrance Gore, giving Kansas City more options – pinch running, pinch hitting and double switches – when the games shift to New York and National League rules are in play.
He also was chosen over veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes, who crushes left-handed pitching, and Cheslor Cuthbert, a similar type of utility prospect who already has been with the Royals.
”Mondesi can do a lot,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”He can play really, really well, shortstop, second base. He’s a switch-hitter. He can hit a fastball, he can bunt and he can run. All these situations come into play. It’s just more flexibility in a National League game.”
Plus, Mondesi could help the Royals out of a bind if Ben Zobrist has to leave. The second baseman’s wife, Julianna, is due with their third child in the next couple of weeks.
”It was not relevant,” Yost insisted. ”I asked Benny a couple of weeks ago when the baby was due, and I thought he said like the 12th or something like that. I’m not really sure.”
Mondesi’s father, an All-Star early in his career with the Dodgers, did make it to the postseason three times. But he never made it past the Division Series. He now spends his time coaching Little League and tutoring young players in the Dominican Republic.
”I think he’s going to New York” for Game 3 of the World Series,” the younger Mondesi said, ”so maybe I can see him and my brother, too.”
Mondesi is considered one of the Royals’ top prospects, but he hit just .243 with six homers and 33 RBIs while spending the entire season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
In other words, he’s never faced a stage quite like this.
”Definitely a big jump going from Double-A, minor leagues, to the World Series,” Kansas City outfielder Lorenzo Cain said. ”When I was that age, I think I was in rookie ball somewhere.”
Mondesi might wish he was getting paid like he was in rookie ball.
Players do not receive a salary in the postseason, instead receiving a share of the players’ postseason pool that can vary greatly plus meal money while on the road. During the regular season this year, the minimum big league salary was $2,773.22 a day, a prorated share of the $507,500 minimum.
Then again, it’s hard to put a price on playing in the World Series.
Mondesi’s father can probably attest to that.