Struggles were evident for the Chicago White Sox in 2023. Offensively, defensively, and on the mound, they were a bad team. While injuries were a factor, the White Sox weren't doing much even if healthy last season.
However, the team might've been a better watch if they were healthy all season.
Switch-hitting third baseman, Yoan Moncada, was injured for most of the season with back problems. He dealt with injuries in 2022, too, but played well in the World Baseball Classic and had an excellent season in '23 when healthy.
MLB.com's Scott Merkin noted that Moncada is the one player poised to have a breakout season in 2024.
"Moncada came back healthy on July 25 and slashed .281/.324/.464 over his final 54 games with eight home runs, 12 doubles and 27 RBIs. The 2024 season marks the last guaranteed year of Moncada’s contract at $24 million, with the team holding a $25 million option and a $5 million buyout for '25. A fully healthy Moncada should mean a productive Moncada."
The 28-year-old has had his highs and lows in the big leagues. He's proved that he can be a high level hitter at times, but he's also struggled at the dish for parts of his career.
In 2023, despite the injuries, he slashed .260/.305/.425. His .787 OPS in the 2021 season and .915 OPS in the 2019 season is hopefully where Moncada can be in '24. Even if it's somewhere in between that, the White Sox will find themselves in a good spot if he can produce at that level.
For a team that finished with 171 home runs (10th fewest), .238 average (fifth worst), and the second worst OPS only behind the Oakland Athletics at .675, Moncada makes a huge difference.
While Luis Robert Jr. has produced with bad lineups in his young career, having any bit of protection should make him even better.