The Boston Red Sox look high and low to ferret out prospects for their farm system. In recent years they have expanded their efforts outside of the draft, and have scouted in countries like the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, and Australia. A number of intriguing talents have been uncovered, with one of the most recent finds being Boss Moanaroa, a powerful first baseman out of Australia.
Just 20 years of age, Moanaroa already has three professional seasons under his belt, making it as far as short season Lowell this past year. The Red Sox are taking it slow with him because of his limited experience and raw skills, but have to be pleased with what they have seen so far. In 105 games the left-handed hitter has put up a .258 average, with 7 home runs and 47 RBI. His .351 OPB is also impressive for someone his age, and while he is still acclimating to first base, the Red Sox believe he is making progress.
This past season I caught up with Moanaroa to check in with him about his path to professional baseball.
How did you first become interested in playing baseball?
It was by my dad, in Australia. He actually played cricket and softball. He played that for a while, he played when he was young actually. We actually started off in t-ball, and went from there.
Was it through softball that you grew to like baseball?
I didn’t really play softball. I watched it, but my dad told me I needed to try baseball. We went along with that, and I’m glad I did.
How did you first find out that the Red Sox were interested in you?
There are Australian scouts for different organizations, and I guess they approached me. It just went from there. For me it was just a shocked because I was 16. We talked and had a one-on-one session, and it went from there.
Did your brother (Moko) sign at the same time?
No. He actually came over here, and the first game he played, he hit a home run. They put a contract out, and it went from there as well.
When you signed with Boston, did you do anything special for yourself or your family?
We actually went out for a big dinner. It wasn’t really too out of control; just had the family over.
How has it been adapting to the United States and minor league baseball?
A challenge is the routine you have to get in to. You play every day, and in Australia, you probably play like twice a week. The main thing for me has just been getting into my own routine and sticking with it. I’m doing really well so far, so I have to keep that up.