Yoan Moncada Shows Promise in White Sox Debut vs. Dodgers

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2017

Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada heads for first after drawing a walk from Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Chicago. Moncada makes his major league debut in the game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox finally got a look at their No. 1 prospect as Yoan Moncada made his debut with the team Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The second baseman finished 0-for-2 with a walk in a 9-1 rain-shortened loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first major league action of the 2017 season.

MLB.com lists Moncada as the top prospect in baseball, and with that comes with high expectations. The fans were supportive right away, though, cheering his second-inning walk in his first plate appearance:

There was plenty of excitement all around:

Bob Warja @BobWarja

Don't think I've ever seen a standing ovation for a walk. #YoanMoncadaDay

David Haugh @DavidHaugh

Standing ovation for Yoan Moncada's first AB with #WhiteSox. Boos for the first two called strikes. Moncada works a full-count. Coaxes walk.

He earned outs on his next two at-bats, but he still showed his potential, via Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Mark Potash @MarkPotash

A little too much exit velo and Yoan Moncada lines out to center to end the sixth inning. Nice swing. Good balance. Good follow through.

A turned double play on defense also got fans on their feet. Scott Merkin of MLB.com described his effort:

Scott Merkin @scottmerkin

Nice turn by Moncada on the DP. Heard rave reviews on his work in that area from scouts and the organization alike

Although a rainout in the eighth inning ruined a chance at another at-bat, it wasn't a lost day for the young infielder.

The 22-year-old was the centerpiece of the trade that sent pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox last December and also landed the White Sox right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech and outfielders Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz. Prior to that, he was a highly touted Cuban prospect who received a $31.5 million signing bonus in 2015 upon joining the Red Sox.

While he was just 4-of-19 in his only stint in the majors with Boston, his potential as a hitter remains high. Moncada displayed a good combination of power and speed in the minors and possesses a strong arm that he doesn't always get a chance to show off at second base.

Before his call-up, the young prospect showcased a great approach at the plate while posting a slash line of .282/.377/.447 in Triple-A for the Charlotte Knights. He also added 12 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 80 games, proving he was ready for the majors.

This is all despite being almost five years younger than the average hitter in the league, per Baseball Reference.

While one game doesn't always tell us a whole lot about a baseball player, there is reason for excitement in Chicago.                               


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