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Royals sign Raul Mondesi’s 16-year-old son for $2 million

Jul 27, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

raul mondesi

Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Royals have signed Raul Mondesi’s son, 16-year-old shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, for a $2 million bonus.

Today is his 16th birthday and thus the first day Adalberto Mondesi was eligible to sign. He’s expected to begin his pro career in the Dominican Summer League next season after catching the Royals’ eye while playing at an academy in the Dominican Republic.

Rojas quoted a scout who describes Adalberto Mondesi as a switch-hitter with plus speed and defense, projecting him to become a solid regular in the majors eventually despite a lack of power.

Ben Badler of Baseball America calls him a better prospect than older brother Raul Mondesi Jr., who signed with the Brewers last year for $800,000.

Their father signed with the Dodgers as a teenager and played 13 seasons in the majors, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1994 and hitting .273 with 271 homers and an .815 OPS in 1,525 games for seven different teams. Raul Mondesi earned nearly $70 million as a player and is now the mayor of his home town, San Cristobal.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    I trust that the money will be invested wisely and hope that the son becomes a solid pro like his father.

  2. cintiphil - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    this will do it for sure. the Royals are heading for the W-S.

  3. hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Am I the only one who gets disgusted every time I read a story like this. Baseball is a dangerous game. People are severely injured every year with lifelong injuries. He should be competing against high school sophomores, not grown men. Why is baseball allowed to skirt child labor laws outlawing dangerous work conditions for minors? Same way Nike does I guess. As long as it’s in a country with no child labor laws, it is none of their concerns. No other work environment would or should permit a sixteen year old to be subjected to possible, if not probable, broken bones, torn tendons, torn ligaments etc.

    • cleverbob - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:14 PM

      It’s difficult to invoke child labor transgressions when the kid is getting P-A-I-D.

      • hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        He is a child hired by Billionaires to make money for them. It would not be legal in this country. They scour other countries for children who will eventually pay dividends for them, regardless of the dangers. To me, it’s shameful.

      • cleverbob - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        Yes, but he’s getting P-A-I-D to play a G-A-M-E. I think your outrage would be better suited for ill-treated, ill-paid child workers in places like China.

      • hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        There are MLB Network reports on these places. For every Mondesie, there are 1000 kids who dropout to sign $1,000 contracts in the Latin American coutries where MLB has set up player factories where these kids are working 16 hours a day. My outrage is justified.

        In America, our kids have options. They can turn down a contract and choose college. Baseball has learned they can sign 100 Dominican kids for less than it would cost to sign a 5th rounder. So they do. No law against it, but it still pisses me off.

    • genericcommenter - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM

      He’s 16. I had my first legal job at 14, as did most of my friends- at least the ones who weren’t spoiled. That was the legal working age in the U.S. and I assume still is. I sure wish I could have been paid to play baseball. I would have played baseball at 16 for minimum wage. It beats sweating away summers and weekends in a hot kitchen ( or on a boat, in a field,etc) and spending the other 180 days sitting around waiting for the next 2 years of your life to pass by so you can start doing what matters.

      • hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        I understand you had a job at 14. At 16, you can legally work 24 hours a week, and not after 9pm. You can’t work more than 4 hours at a time. You can’t work during school hours on school days. These regulations aren’t condusive to training a baseball player, so clubs skirt this and sign kids in other countries. The reason there are so many Latin Americans in the majors isn’t because they are a superior race. It is because they are cheaper to train than an American, and can be trained at a younger age.

        Playing baseball is fun. Working baseball isn’t. I have worked baseball in college. Gamedays were great, but practice sucked, and our practices were only 4 hours, not 10, 12 ,14 hours

    • foreverchipper10 - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:44 PM

      So if you were 16 and a major league club offered you $2 million you would say no because it conflicts with your morals on child labor?

      • hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 5:36 PM

        At 16 if someone offered me 10 dollars to shoot a porno I’d have done that too. We have laws in place for a reason, and a corporation crossing borders to skirt those laws is unacceptable.

  4. anotheryx - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    It might be against letter of the child labor law (if it’s in US), but it sure as heck is NOT against the spirit of the child labor law (which is to prevent exploit of children). I think we can all agree that when a 16 year old get paid 2mil to play baseball, he is not being exploited.

    On that note, I also do not think kids work for Nike in third world country is really exploitation . Is it so much worse to get paid $1 or whatever an hour to make shoes than alternatives which often include die of hunger? Mah, toss up I guess.

    • hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:23 PM

      I have seen reports on baseball in the America’s. Local “coaches/agents” take kids as young as 10 out of school and teach them baseball full time. They teach them to hit and pitch, never seeing an actual field. It is a fulltime job, long before they even know the rules to the game.

      Many of them have never actually played baseball until they are signed to a professional contract, usually in the hundreds, not thousands or millions. Mondesi is a rare exception, likely because he could afford an agent. Baseball is a way for local businessmen to make money as scouts, receiving money for bringing these kids to baseball teams. Teams set up full time camps, where these kids live and do nothing but work baseball. These local coaches/scouts/kidnappers are pimps, and baseball’s running a metaphorical brothel.

  5. yankpride - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    David Beckham signed a contract with Man U at 14 – Played his first team match at 17. Child exploitation or capitalizing on ones natural talent and getting paid. He could have blown a knee in high school and amounted to nothing. Cash in when you can.

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