Starting job wasn't on Mondesi's radar

Second baseman was worried about being in camp long enough to get meal money

Starting job wasn't on Mondesi's radar

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals catching coach Pedro Grifol recalled a funny admission from Raul Mondesi about a week ago.

"He comes up to me and says, 'Man, I just hope I can hang on in big league camp for another week,'" Grifol said. "'I could really use the meal money.'"

Mondesi apparently had no idea he was winning the battle for the second-base job, which was awarded to him on Monday.

Royals manager Ned Yost loves that story.

"The fact that he didn't have a clue how well he was doing," Yost said, "tells you something about his character. All he was worried about was meal money, and here he was having a great camp and working his way to winning the starting job."

Mondesi beat out Christian Colon and Whit Merrifield for the job, despite not even really being a part of the competition early in camp.

"It just shows you how humble the kid is," Grifol said of the meal-money line. "That's a good thing."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.