White Sox 2019 Season Preview: Infielders Analysis
Third base – Yoán Moncada
Another man to have a lot of eyes looking at him will be newly transitioned from second to third baseman Yoán Moncada.
To say Moncada’s 2018 was a disappointment would be an understatement. The former number one prospect in all of baseball played his first full season in 2018 and hit an underwhelming .235/.315/.400 slash. I mean he lead MLB in strikeouts with 217.
He did, however, have a few silver linings to emerge from an otherwise subpar season. He hit 17 home runs and 61 RBIs. He stole 12 bases and walked 67 times. He also had 32 doubles and six triples.
For your average MLB player, his 2018 numbers were otherwise solid. Disregarding the insane amount of strikeouts, it was solid. But those numbers attached to the name of Moncada, or any player who was once the top prospect in baseball, or the player acquired in a trade that sent away arguably the best pitcher in baseball, those numbers are very concerning.
Before Sox fans begin to freak out, however, we must take into account that he is just a 23-year-old kid about to start his second full year in the league. It is easy to dismiss him and call him a bust, but the jury is still out on Moncada and any definitive thought like being a bust to be attached to his name would be immensely premature.
Sox fans should not particularly be too concerned about Moncada. If he strikes out 170 plus times then maybe a little bit of concern is warranted. But he was once the top prospect in baseball for a reason.
Moncada hit a fantastic .358/.439/.642 slash with an OPS of 1.110 this Spring Training. He hit three home runs, four doubles, and one triple while driving in nine runs. He struck out only 16 times and walked 11 times in 64 plate appearances.
The amount of strikeouts he had in Spring shows that he made adjustments and along with it came patience, and that shows in the 11 walks. Moncada needs to carry his momentum and low amount of strikeouts into the 2019 season. If he can, he could very well turn into the team’s leading offensive producer.