Carlos Moncrief’s Journey From Pitcher To Outfield Nearly Complete
In 2008 Carlos Moncrief was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 14th round out of Chipola College. At the time of being drafted, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus said of him, ”A big power arm, he’s raw but has great stuff; a violent delivery and long medical history are concerns.”
The violent delivery proved too much to harness as a professional for Carlos Moncrief. After signing with the Indians he reported to the their Gulf Coast team and in just 6 innings of work walked 10 batters while striking out only 4. In 2009 didn’t fare much better. He struggled with the Arizona Rookie League Indians in 19 games and posted a 1-2 record with a 6.51 ERA.
After the 2009 season Moncrief approached the Indians with the idea of switching to the outfield full time, telling Tony Lastoria, formerly of the examiner.com:
“To be honest, I like the outfield better, I struck out the first ten guys I faced [last year], but I got tired. If I am 100% I can pitch at 93-95 MPH easily, but if I get tired and with me not knowing how to pitch to the fullest like I should I [was] throwing 89-92 MPH and getting hit. I just thought pitching was a faster road to the big leagues, but there was more to learn about pitching. I knew a pretty good bit about hitting, so I felt [like I] could make it [there] too.”
After not swinging the bat in a competitive environment the switch took some time. In 2010, Moncrief spent 66 games with the Indians Low-A Mahoning Valley affiliate posting a triple slash line of .241/.324/.380. He finished the year with a five game stint with the High-A Kinston Indians.
The 2011 season was his first full season as an everyday outfielder and Moncrief showed an uptick in power playing for the Indians Single-A affiliate, Lake County Captains, posting a triple slash line of .233/.346/.422. However, he showed mixed plate discipline striking out in 28.6% of his plate appearances while walking in 13.8%.
His 2011 performance warranted advancement to the clubs High-A affiliate, Carolina Mudcats, where he spent the 2012 season improving his power output. Moncrief hit .249/.339/.465, but struck out in 31% of his plate appearances while his walk rate fell to 11.3%.
Last season, Moncrief spent the year with the Double-A Akron Aeros and put together the best season of his young career. In 129 games, he posted a triple slash line of .284/.354/.370 with 17 home runs and 75 driven in. His plate discipline also improved. He only struck out in only 17.8% of his plate appearances and maintained a walk rate of 10%.
Perhaps most impressively, Carlos Moncrief just turned 25 years old and was recently added to the Indians 40-man roster. He will begin the 2014 season with the Indians Triple-A Columbus Clippers and is on target to debut with the Indians at some point during the upcoming season. (refresh page if video players fail to load).