The Miami Marlins, eager to bolster their infield presence, have set their sights on the dynamic shortstop, Adalberto Mondesi, who is currently a free agent. This intriguing development was first reported by Jon Heyman of the New York Post and has garnered significant attention in the world of Major League Baseball.
Adalberto Mondesi, now 28 years old, is undeniably one of the most gifted players in the league. His journey began with the Kansas City Royals, where he was touted as one of the most promising prospects in the game before making his debut.
Throughout his career, Mondesi has consistently displayed the potential to shine as a star player. A prime example of his prowess was seen in the 2018 season when, in just 75 games, he smashed 14 home runs and swiped 32 bases - an extraordinary display of power and speed rarely witnessed in baseball.
Such remarkable skills hint at the historic achievements he could accomplish in a full season. However, a crucial caveat accompanies Mondesi's career - his propensity for injuries. His career has been marked by frequent injuries, preventing him from enjoying a full season of play.
He has never appeared in more than 102 games in a single season and has yet to reach 450 MLB plate appearances in a given year. His highest plate appearance count was 433 in 2019. Unfortunately, he has since played in just 109 games, making 423 plate appearances over four years.
Mondesi's Resilience and Potential
Mondesi's 2023 season saw him in a Red Sox uniform following a trade with the Royals, involving lefty reliever Josh Taylor. An ACL tear wiped out most of his 2022 campaign, and despite extensive efforts to recover, he missed the entire 2023 season as well.
In addition to his ACL woes, he has experienced shoulder subluxations, with one necessitating surgery in 2019. Various IL stints due to oblique, back, groin, and hamstring injuries further contribute to his injury-laden history.
Despite these setbacks, Mondesi boasts six years of MLB service time. Astonishingly, he has only participated in 358 Major League games. Nonetheless, in just 1336 career plate appearances, he has managed to tally an impressive 38 home runs and an eye-popping 133 steals.
While he has room for improvement in terms of plate discipline, with a career walk rate of 4.4% and a high strikeout rate of 30.2%, his blend of power, speed, and outstanding defense (career 23 Outs Above Average, per Statcast) is tantalizing.
His injury history suggests that an affordable deal could be on the horizon.
Marlins' Quest for Infield Depth
The Miami Marlins have been conspicuous in their lack of major league signings this season, making them the sole team yet to secure a free agent to a major league contract.
The team's new president of baseball operations, Peter Bendix, has made it clear that enhancing the catching and infield depth is a priority. Thus far, the most significant addition has been the acquisition of Vidal Brujan, a former top prospect, and righty Calvin Faucher from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Currently, the Marlins are projected to have a payroll of approximately $97 million, which falls approximately $13 million short of their 2023 end-of-season mark. Their shortstop options include Brujan, along with prospects Xavier Edwards and Jacob Amaya, as well as veteran utilityman Jon Berti.
While Jazz Chisholm Jr. is an option at shortstop, the team's plans indicate that he is likely to remain in center field for another season to avoid creating a similar gap in the outfield.