White Sox: Is this the Real Yoan Moncada?
What about Moncada’s power outburst? Moncada has six home runs this season in 21 games. Moncada started pretty strong with four home runs in 20 games. During 2018 Moncada hit 17 home runs. A number much lower than many would expect for such a strong man. Last year Moncada hit 11.7 percent of his fly balls for home runs according to Fangraphs. This year? 25 percent of Moncada’s fly balls have left the park before Monday.
For reference, Stanton has a career 26.7 percent home run rate. We know Moncada is strong, is he as strong as Stanton, a man who hit 59 home runs two seasons ago? That’s doubtful. That being said, last year Moncada only homered on 11 percent of his fly balls. That was under his career 14.6 percent rate. His home run to fly ball rate shouldn’t be doubling, but it should be better than the low rate he had last year.
So 25 percent is probably too high, the 11 percent was too low, what is reasonable? Well, his fly ball rate is very close to his career numbers. For his career, 38.4 percent of Moncada’s balls in play have been fly balls. This season he sat at 40 percent before Monday. What’s different is how hard he is hitting those balls. Last season Moncada’s average exit velocity was 90.6. This year it has reached as high as 95.5. Adding another five miles per hour in exit velocity can push a few balls from the warning track to the seats.
Basically, Moncada is a very fast and strong baseball player who has made a drastic change in approach. He has been very exciting to watch. Will he be this good going forward? Maybe not. He is only 23 though. This could be just a stepping stone to a prime Moncada who could be a dominant force in the White Sox lineup for years to come.