2B/3B – Chicago White Sox
Height: 6’2” Weight: 205 lbs
2016 Stats (A+)— .307/.427/.496, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 57 runs, 36 steals
2016 Stats (AA)—.277/.379/.531, 11 HR, 28 RBI, 37 runs, 9 steals
The big headline of baseball’s offseason was the blockbuster deal that sent Chris Sale to the Red Sox. The biggest asset in that deal that the White Sox received was infielder Yoan Moncada. The young second baseman hit just .211 in eight big league games with the Red Sox last season, but cut the kid some slack. Not every player can play at an elite level the second they get the call to the big leagues. It just doesn’t work that way. This kid is an elite prospect for a reason, so like they say in Philadelphia, trust the process! Take a look at his grades:
HIT: 60 – POWER: 60 – SPEED: 70 – FIELDING: 50 – ARM: 70
If you want to focus on his grotesque strikeout rate from a brief stint late last season, go right ahead, because someone else will buy into his upside, while you’ll be on the outside looking in. The guy grades well because he’s a damn good baseball player. Consider this: In 187 career minor league games, Moncada has a .287 batting average with 23 home runs and 94 stolen bases. The potential power-speed commodity he could develop into at the big league level is tantalizing.
When looking at his numbers at the Double-A level, he really had a hard time hitting from the left side of the plate. He hit .305 against right-handers, but a measly .167 against southpaws. He fared well against both sides at the A+ level, but looking back at 2015, it was the other way around. He hit .310 against southpaws, compared to just .262 against righties. Of his 23 minor league home runs, eight have come off southpaws.
As we all saw in his brief big league stint, the strikeouts are going to be a problem for the budding prospect. Punching out was a problem in the minors, too. See it for yourself.
2015 Single-A (81 games) – 22.9 K%
2016 A+ (61 games) – 21.1 K%
2016 Double-A (45 games) – 30.9 K%
2016 MLB (8 games) – 60.0 K%
Striking out is something he’ll have to work on minimizing, but there is no denying the potential that this young kid possesses. I mean, he’s the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball for a reason!
Barring an unbelievably herculean spring training, Moncada is going to open the year in Triple-A Charlotte, but we will see Moncada in a White Sox uniform in 2017, without a doubt. His performance will certainly affect when he gets the call to the bigs, but he will make an impact in 2017. We could see him as early as May, or it could be all the way into the late summer until Moncada’s skills are displayed for us at the biggest stage. Regardless of when the call comes, he needs to be on fantasy teams, and if it’s mid-season and he’s in free agency, you better scamper there as quick as you can and pick this guy up. He has the ability to positively affect multiple categories for you, including batting average, home runs, stolen bases and runs scored.
His ADP is fair, considering the fact that his arrival to the big leagues is up for speculation. Cincinnati’s Eugenio Suarez and Milwaukee’s Hernan Perez are being drafted right around Moncada, so later in the draft, it comes down to a personal preference as to whether you want some stats on Opening Day or willing to wait for an extremely talented youngster. There is something intriguing about his potential, but keep in mind that he could spend well over the majority of the season down in the minors. The potential is undeniable, and the skill set is definitely there, but it will likely take Moncada some time to adjust fully to the pitching at the game’s most elite level.
Other MLB experts have said Robinson Cano with more speed
Think Carlos Correa with a tad less power, but more speed
NFBC – 234
Mock Draft Army – 264
RT Sports – 215