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Yoan Moncada More Comfortable in Second Year with White Sox

When the Chicago White Sox traded away starting pitcher Chris Sale there was a lot of excitement around the organization. The main reason for that excitement was because of a player named Yoan Moncada that the White Sox got back in the deal with Boston Red Sox.
He was the number one prospect in all of baseball and eager to show his new club that he belonged. That may have added some extra pressure on the 22-year-old. Still, after being called up in July, Moncada showed glimpses of why the White Sox have a bright, bright future. Although, his numbers may not reflect it.
This spring, he’s more comfortable and ready to get things going.
“This year I feel more comfortable because of experience,” Moncada said with the help of his translator. “I think this year’s experience will also be different from last year.”
As for his offseason, Moncada kept things the same.
“I kept my same routine, I just put a little more work in my body to get into better shape for Spring Training.”
Moncada’s home for the next month will be next to fellow Cuban stars Jose Abreu and Luis Robert. Make no mistake about it, the trio is going to enjoy their time together this spring. “I feel good, I think that we will have some fun,” Moncada said, “last year I was with Abreu here and he taught me a lot.”
There was a lot of speculation this offseason that the White Sox should consider moving Abreu. One of the things that kept him around was the fact that he is a leader both on and off the field. It’s obvious that young players like Moncada respect Abreu and look up to him.
As for Robert, Moncada believes he and Abreu can teach him many different things in camp.
“I hope to keep learning from him (Abreu),” Moncada said, “and now this year we’ll have Robert and I think me and Abreu can teach him some things.”
Clearly, the White Sox have the right manager in Rick Renteria, who can speak Spanish. Moncada acknowledged this as well.
“I think it is important,” Moncada said about his manager being able to speak Spanish. “I think it’s important because this team has a lot of Latino players and you know, when you can communicate with your manager in the same language it’s good.”
In Boston, Moncada had expectations through the roof. He was supposed to solve many problems for the Red Sox. Unfortunately, his first trip to the big leagues didn’t go as planned. Last year, when he was called up he learned from his past mistakes and believes he can do the same in 2018 by handling things similar to how did in 2017.
“I think I handled it in a good way, I didn’t start the season in the majors, but I needed to do some work in the minors.”
The work eventually paid off for Moncada as he joined the team in late July.
In 54 games, he batted .231, hit eight homers to go along with 22 RBIs. One stat that people overlook is walks. Moncada walked 29 times in 2017, which is what the White Sox have been all about during this rebuild. At the end of the day, they want players that get on base.
For now, Moncada is the starter at second base. He and Tim Anderson hope to be the next Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in Chicago. That is a tall task, but it’s nice to see the young players with so much confidence.
The 2018 season will be Moncada’s first spent entirely in the big leagues. There is always pressure when you were once the number one prospect in baseball, but at the moment, Yoan’s biggest concern is Abreu’s beard.
“He needs to shave.”

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Nick is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University and passionate about everything Chicago sports (except the Cubs). He has run his own website, been featured on Bleacher Report, and tried to sell his soul on eBay (which he hasn’t gotten back). He hopes to one day see his beloved Bears win the Super Bowl and is still trying to figure out why Jay Cutler gets so much hate.

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