Five games into the 2019 season, the Chicago White Sox have been led by the hot start of third baseman Yoan Moncada.
Moncada is currently batting .452 through 23 plate appearances, but more impressively is slugging .900. Although it is still very early in the season, the hot start by the White Sox most important piece to their rebuild could change the outlook of the 2019 season.
The main reason why Moncada’s hot 2019 start is so important is because of his poor 2018 season. Last season he led the league in strikeouts with 217 and led the league in strike three calls looking on full-counts. He batted just .235 with a slugging percentage of .400. It was a let down as Moncada was the number one prospect in baseball at the beginning of the 2017 season and along with pitcher Michael Kopech were the key returns in the Chris sale trade with the Boston Red Sox.
Through the first five games of this season, the White Sox third baseman is leading the league in runs with nine, but also has six RBIs and three doubles. Moncada also has either a hit or scored a run through the first five games also. Last season through his first five games, he only had four hit in 24 plate appearances with just one double and one home run. The most important difference from this year to last year has been his strikeouts, last year he had already struck out seven times where this year he has only struck out three times.
Wednesday’s game against the Indians could be viewed as Moncada’s best game with the White Sox so far as he went two for three with two walks, a two-run home run, and double.
The double was an opposite field shot that if not for Progressive Field’s high left-field wall would have been a home run at any other ballpark. His home run was a 438 moonshot which made national highlights.
Now it is still very early in the season and opposing teams will begin pitching against Moncada’s weaknesses once scouted. If he can keeping hitting a premier level, it will give the White Sox jumpstart on their rebuild time. It would be a massive booth as the team has yet to have a prospect turn into an All-Star since the start of the rebuild back in 2017.
Coupled with the hitting of Jose Abreu and development of rookie Eloy Jimenez, the team could have a winning lineup in 2019.