Only two batters into the game and second baseman Yoan Moncada showed off his skills.

With a runner on first base, Moncada lunged to his left, gloved a line drive and hurried a throw to first to double off the runner.

Moncada, 21, the top prospect in the Boston Red Sox minor league system, later gave more hints to his overwhelming promise Tuesday night at Hadlock Field.

Moncada’s arrival in Portland has been anticipated all season – actually going back to last year when the Red Sox spent $61 million to sign him (half of which was Moncada’s signing bonus) as a free agent from Cuba.

In his Sea Dogs debut Tuesday, Moncada demonstrated his array of tools. Although defense is his supposed weakest link, Moncada made some solid plays. He dived to stop a grounder, throwing the runner out. He snagged a hard grounder to his left and pivoted to start a 4-6-3 double play.

Moncada has a strong arm and fired a strike to third base on a relay throw from right field, although the runner was safe.

Offensively, he lined a single to right-center in the third inning, and then turned on the speed to score from first on a double to right field.

Hadlock fans did not see much more offense – he was 1 for 5 with two groundouts and two strikeouts. Nor did Moncada put on a power display. But, according to those who have seen Moncada, more hits and big hits are coming.

“He’s something … most people will probably never see anyone like him,” said relief pitcher Ben Moore, who was promoted from advanced Class A Salem the same time as Moncada.

“He’s an unbelievable talent. It’s unreal to watch. He can make plays on the field. You say he has no chance and then he comes through with it. I think he has the most potential I’ve ever seen.”

The hype – and the expectations – keep escalating. Moncada shrugs.

“I haven’t really felt any pressure,” Moncada said, as Sea Dogs trainer Eric Velazquez interpreted during an informal press conference after batting practice. “My job is to play baseball. I just work on what I do.”

Since adjusting to play in the U.S., Moncada said he’s “been feeling pretty comfortable and working on adjustments every day.”

At Salem this year, Moncada batted .307 average, with a.923 OPS. He stole 36 bases in 44 tries and also had 45 walks, 25 doubles, three triples and four home runs.

“I’ve been very impressed with his progression on and off the field,” Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett said. “He’s really gotten a good grasp of what is needed to progress, and it’s shown on the field with his performance and improved consistency.”

There was never a doubt of Moncada’s physical gifts. He is a muscular 6-foot-2, 220 pounds with speed. But being a baseball player is more than being athletic. Moncada appears to get that.

“His physical tools jump out at you,” Crockett said. “But he’s worked hard to be more consistent, day to day, and has really bought into the programs.

“He still has room to grow in many areas. But the progress he has made from spring training, 2015 to June, 2016 is tremendous.”

Chief among those areas of growth for Moncada is his fielding. “He continues to focus on being more consistent on routine plays and slowing the game down,” Crockett said.

And, for now, that fielding will take place as a second baseman – although it is a given that Moncada will eventually try another position since Dustin Pedroia is cemented in at second base in Boston with a contract running through 2021 (much like Mookie Betts moved from second base to center field when he was at Hadlock Field in 2014).

“I’ll play anywhere,” Moncada said.

Players like Betts and Bogaerts did not take long to reach the majors once they made it to Portland. Moncada seems aware of that.

“Pretty excited for the promotion,” he said, “excited to be here.”

Lots of folks are excited to come here for the summer. But Moncada has no interest in lighthouses and lobster dinners.

“Never really heard of the state or the city but I did expect to come here,” Moncada said, “because I was planning on getting to Double-A. There is not too much I am really planning on doing besides playing baseball. This is just another step towards getting to the big leagues, which is the goal.

“It’s all a process. I have my routine and am able to focus and go through the day-to-day grind.”

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