Yoan Moncada led MLB with 217 strikeouts last season. 2018 was the first full season playing in MLB for Moncada. Although he hit 17 home runs, Moncada couldn’t avoid striking out more than 200 times and also led all second baseman with 21 errors. Simply put, 2018 might have been the worst season of Moncada’s career.
With a position change to third base, maybe this could be the spark Moncada needs to reach his true potential. It appears moving over to third base has done Moncada some good at least during Spring Training. Through 25 at-bats, Moncada is hitting .360 with a .448 on-base percentage. Moncada has three extra-base hits and has yet to commit an error at third base through nine games.
Many Sox fans were quick to label Moncada a bust last season and declared the franchise lost the trade with the Boston Red Sox that included Chris Sale. Despite a poor offensive showing from Moncada in 2018, it’s too early to determine if he won’t ever live up to the hype of him once being ranked as a top prospect in MLB. It’s also too early to determine if the Sox lost their trade with the Red Sox from late 2016.
Moncada still has plenty of room for growth. If he can continue producing well offensively this Spring along with providing solid defense at third base, that positive momentum can likely carry over into the regular season. If that happens, Moncada will certainly live up to his potential sooner than later for the Sox. Moncada might be one of the more integral players to the success of the Sox rebuild. Let’s hope he can maintain his good production from this Spring throughout 2019.