Yoan Moncada started his season slow with poor numbers. But recently, he has found his swing and began to play like the player Rick Hahn traded for.
After a pedestrian rookie year with the White Sox, excited fans hoped to see what prized prospect Yoan Moncada can do in a full season. He started out his 2018 campaign by putting pedestrian numbers up again and letting those fans down.
The first 18
For the first 18 games of the season, Moncada was hitting with a horrific .214 average. He hit three long balls and drove in nine, but he struck out 33 times in 70 at-bats, 40 percent of the time. His on-base percentage was .329 in that span. Though that is a solid number, in 83 plate appearances, and in someone viewed to be the future of your team, you want to see that number in the upper .300s. He did have some silver linings in his play: seven of 15 hits being for extra bases, and he swiped four bases. But it was not the offensive performance fans wanted to see from number 10. All that changed on Monday, April 23.
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It all changed
Against the Seattle Mariners, Moncada went 3-for-5 and was a single shy of the cycle. He scored three times in the Sox 10-4 win. Since that fantastic game, Moncada has been setting the league on fire. From the almost-cycle performance to May 1, Moncada has been hitting a video-game-like slash line of .375/.405/.750.
He’s hit three home runs driving in six runs and scoring seven times. The only downside to his play recently is still his strikeout percentage, 14 times in 42 plate appearances (33.3 percent).
The strikeout numbers have consistently been high for Moncada, of course, who could forget when he struck out 12 times in 19 at-bats, but fortunately, that seems to be his only offensive flaw as of late. He’s getting on base, hitting the ball hard, and driving it into the gaps, which is exactly what you want to see from a young hitter like Moncada.
He has yet to get a stolen base since that Mariners game, but considering the aggressive baserunning the White Sox have been displaying, that will likely change. It’s also kind of hard to steal third or home and Moncada’s been hitting for extra bases lately, which is perfectly okay.
We knew once the weather began to heat up, so would the Sox bats. Moncada is just proving that to be correct. And remember hitting is contagious, so get ready to see those averages steadily rising up and down the lineup.
But, unfortunately, there may be some time until we get to see Moncada again. He left Wednesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning with left hamstring tightness. He’s currently day-to-day, so hopefully, we can see him continue to set fire to the league soon.