White Sox: Why Yoan Moncada is in the middle of a Gold Glove season

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Last season, Yoan Moncada of the Chicago White Sox was a finalist for the American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award at third base. This year, he is gunning to be more than just a finalist. He wants to take home the whole thing.

His play on the field this season has made a pretty compelling case. If you need proof look no further than the stellar play he made at third base on Monday. On a chopper down the line, Moncada sprung to his left and snagged the ball off a high hop before it went foul. Then, while falling off balance, he made an excellent cross-body throw to beat Eric Haase on a one-hopper.

Earlier in the season, he robbed Kevin Plawecki of a double when he smothered a ball that had an exit velocity of 103 mph. He then spun and threw to second base to start an inning-ending double play. The White Sox went on to beat the Red Sox 3-2 and his run-saving play was a major reason why.

This is something he has been doing all year. He has 219 assists at third base and helped turn 27 double plays. His 219 assists are the fifth most amongst third baseman in the American League. He has also snagged 86 putouts. Moncada’s range factor of 2.38 is the third-highest on the White Sox behind only Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson.

Yoan Moncada has been an incredible third baseman for the Chicago White Sox.

The advanced metrics treat him well too. Yoan Moncada has a plus-four run saved runs above average (rPM) according to FanGraphs. He also scored a 1 for good fielding plays runs saved above average (rGFP). Last season, when he was a Gold Glove finalist he scored a -1 in this category.

Moncada also has a 1.3 for double play runs above average (DPR) and a 3.5 rating for error runs above average (ErrR). His total Ultimate Zone Rating, which measures runs above average by calculating Arm+DPR+RngR (or range)+ErrR, is a whopping 5.5, the highest it’s been in his career.

FanGraphs also has his overall defensive value listed as 6.9 above the league average. Dallas Keuchel knows a thing or two about winning Gold Gloves. He has won four of them. When asked about Moncada’s defense in April he said: 

"“He’s got Gold Glove talent. He’s been nothing short of spectacular on the field. I don’t expect anything less. He’s a talented dude.”"

The key to Moncada’s defense is his quick hands and accurate arm. He makes plays coming in as good as anyone in baseball. When throwing on the run Moncada seems to be better. Any way you cut it, he is having a Gold Glove-caliber season.

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