Moncada signed with the Rays from Venezuela in 2015. He made his stateside debut in the Appy League two years later, repeating the level last season as a 20-year-old. I got a looks at Moncada, now 21, both last fall during Instructional League and again this spring on the backfields.
A slender 6-foot-1, Moncada has room to add strength but will never be overly physical. He works from a slow-paced semi-windup, finishing with some noise in the front of his delivery that projects to quiet down a bit as he fills out. Moncada’s long, full arm-circle leads into a very loose high three-quarters slot, hinting there’s a tick more velocity left to gain. The fastball sat 88-to-91 mph in this look, down from the flashes of 93-94 I saw from Moncada in the fall. He generates good downhill plane for his height when working low in the zone, showing late run on the heater that moved off barrels. Moncada’s best off-speed is a low-80s curve with shapely down action at best. It gets loose and sweepy at times, but flashes enough to foresee a big league breaking ball in the tank. His changeup remained raw, an infrequent wrinkle in the 82-to-85 mph range with minimal movement or ability to land for a strike.
Moncada is more lottery ticket than surefire prospect, but his overall projection and two-pitch mix are interesting. He’s less physically developed than most pitching prospects his age, so the profile has variability and could change shape over the next few seasons. He’s a longshot back-rotation starter or swingman, ticketed for the Midwest League to begin 2019.