Run Adalberto RUN! That about sums it up when it comes to Kansas City Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi who in his young career has become one of the more polarizing players in all of fantasy baseball. On the one hand you have the supreme base stealer in the game whose value on that statistic alone carries immense value in an MLB era where that skill is vanishing quickly. On the other hand, you have critics who rightfully knock Mondesi for a completely undisciplined hitting approach that results in brutal OBP numbers and annually shaky batting averages. Even though it seems like Mondesi has been around forever as he gets set for his sixth MLB campaign, he is still only 25 and won't turn 26 until July. So in essence Mondesi still has room to grow as he is still a year or so away from his prime but for now he remains a very skilled but flawed player.
Digging in a bit more on the numbers, Mondesi batted .256 with 6 home runs and 24 steals in 219 at-bats in the shortened 2020 campaign. The OBP remained ugly at .294 and Mondesi was comically bad both with his 4.7 BB/9 and 30.0 K/9 rates. So as you can see, Mondesi is not pretty on a day-to-day basis with his numbers but on the flip side, no one in the game today is a more potent base stealer and the allure here is that if the guy can just gain even a smidge of improvement in terms of approach, 70 steals is not out of the question. Those 70 steals would be pure fantasy baseball gold and even 50 would fall into that category as well. Hence, the continued high cost of owning Mondesi this season but like with those who annually overpaid for the flawed Billy Hamilton before him, the risk remains sizable. So in terms of how to handle Mondesi in 2021, we have no issues if you choose to use an early third round pick here but that is only if you spent picks 1 and 2 on .300 hitters who have pop. That is the best avenue toward Mondesi ownership and anything more pricy that an early third round pick would force us to pass. Again the steals are going to be insane here but the damage Mondesi will do elsewhere surely can offset some of this impact.
2021 PROJECTION: .255 10 HR 43 RBI 75 R 46 SB