Thursday, April 4, 2019


Maybe THIS is the year it finally happens for Chicago White Sox second baseman/third baseman Yoan Moncada?  Since making his full season debut in with the team after coming over via trade after initially being signed out of Cuba as a tremendously hyped talent, projections of stardom have followed Moncada everywhere.  What always stood out the most about Moncada was how physically awesome a prospect he was which was highlighted by tape measure power to go with lightning quick speed.  As a result, visions of 20/20 and maybe even 30/30 campaigns began to dance around in Moncada's prospective owners which made him a big-time sleeper target in fantasy baseball drafts both in 2017 and 2018.  Alas, we have gotten nothing but a frustrating mixed bag of numbers from Moncada since then as he first hit 8 homers, stole 3 bases, and batted .231 in 54 games in 2017 before injuries derailed him, followed by a more impressive 17 homers, 12 steals, and a .235 average last season.  While Moncada did show the power/speed game that made him such a highly acclaimed prospect in the first place, his horrendous batting averages were dragged down primarily during those two seasons by some of the worst strikeout tendencies in the game.  Specifically speaking, Moncada's 32.0 and 33.4 K/9 rates respectively during those seasons would have made Adam Dunn feel queasy and it elicited chatter that the major struggles there may undermine his entire future as an offensive player.

Fast forward to present time and while we are only a week into the season, the early returns on Moncada have been very impressive and encouraging.  Going into Thursday's games, Moncada was scorching at the dish to the tune of a .450 average with 2 home runs in 23 at-bats.  Perhaps even more impressive was Moncada's 13.0 K/9 which is light years better than what he did in 2017 and 2018.  While the small sample size mode applies here, the fact Moncada has so far not fallen under the weight of strikeouts is something that so far is really elevating his overall offensive game and could continue to do so throughout the season if this keeps up.  While Moncada's K/9 figures to rise from here on out, if he can keep it in the 20.0-24.0 range we would be happy and the overall picture here would be quite potent.  Again, there is no guarantee this will take place but at a still very young 23, Moncada could finally be ready to turn into the star he was originally slated to be.

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