You know there must be some immense potential for a prospect when he becomes the main piece traded by the team that originally signed him out of his home country in a deal for the best pitcher in baseball not named Clayton Kershaw. Yes, we are talking about Chicago White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada who was the big get the team received when they dealt ace pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox last winter. The White Sox didn’t waste much time trying Moncada out for size in 2017; promoting him on July 18th and then sat back to watch him hit .231 with 8 home runs and 3 stolen bases in 231 at-bats. Lauded for possessing massive power/speed upside, Moncada first has to get what is a pronounced strikeout problem (32.0 K/9 last season) under control. Of course, we need to keep in mind that Moncada is still only turning 23 this May and so growing pains that include a bunch of strikeouts are a part of the equation. That means Moncada’s batting average could be shaky for awhile but exponential growth in homers and steals are also going to be part of the deal as well. While it more likely will be 2019 when Moncada takes off, his 2018 outlook is on the upswing as well.
2018 PROJECTION: .249 14 HR 55 RBI 63 R 15 SB