Yoan Moncada has had a rough 2022, will his season ever turn around?
Along with a majority of White Sox players this year, Yoan Moncada has struggled all season long. Is there something that can be easily altered to help him perform better at the plate, or is this just a really down year for the young star?
Yoan Moncada 2022 Season Stats (as of 8/14):
.198/.266/.315 6 HR 32 RBI OPS+ = 65
This season has been an absolute disaster for Moncada, hes not hitting the long ball at all and he isn’t hitting for average either. Yoan Moncada has always been an extremely patient hitter, he is always in a 2 strike count. It seems as though he is looking for a walk when he comes to the plate and that constantly puts him behind in the count and that is why his strikeout numbers have always been so high throughout his short career.
The obvious reason for Moncada’s struggles, along with everyone else, is hitting coach Frank Menechino. When Menechino became the White Sox hitting coach in 2020, the talented White Sox lineup has struggled to do one thing, and that’s hit home runs.
As of August 14th, the White Sox rank 25th in the MLB in home runs with 101. Jose Abreu currently leads the team with 14 long balls. That is an awful number when you compare it to Aaron Judge’s 46 home runs this year.
However, the White Sox are 4th in baseball in team batting average at .259 and they are second in the league in total hits, only trailing the Colorado Rockies in hits. All this team does is hit singles and that correlates with the lack of runs scored this year as well.
705 of the White Sox’s first 1,000 hits this year were singles.
Most recent teams to finish a season with at least 70% of their hits being singles:
2018 Marlins (63-98)
2016 Marlins (79-82)
2015 Marlins (71-91)
2015 Braves (67-95)
The Tigers also are on pace to join this list.
— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) August 11, 2022
This is maybe the worst stat to look at for how disappointing the 2022 White Sox are. They join 3 Marlins teams and the 2015 Braves to have 70% of their total hits being singles. A similarity to those Marlins teams is shockingly enough, hitting coach Frank Menechino. Hopefully the White Sox take a page out of the Marlins playbook and fire Frank Menechino during or following this season.
Back to Moncada, how can he get back to his fantastic 2019 season?
Yoan Moncada 2019 Season Stats:
.315/.367/.548 25 HR 79 RBI OPS+ = 140
Moncada’s 2019 campaign is what Sox fans were expecting from the young third baseman. His .315 batting average ranked 3rd in the AL and 7th in all of baseball. And his OPS+ of 140 tells us that as a hitter, Moncada was 40% better than the average MLB hitter, any number over 100 is positive.
Moncada does most of his damage from the left side of the plate, like most switch hitters, but he looked much more confident in 2019 compared to now. As a left handed hitter, he has a .258 average with 64 home runs and 222 RBI. One big difference is that Moncada attacked earlier in the count back in 2019 compared to his past three seasons.
Yoan Moncada hit 25 homers and batted .315 in his age 24 season. No one has done that since.
The chart below shows Moncada along with the last 10 players who had such a season at age 24.
It shows their OPS in their next 3 seasons (ages 25, 26, & 27). pic.twitter.com/9wmvuDE8Xn
— Jay Cuda (@JayCuda) August 13, 2022
Just prior to the 2020 season, Yoan Moncada tested positive for Covid-19 and it almost seems like he hasn’t been the same since. His 2021 season was “ok” to some people, but he became much more patient at the plate, having an OBP of .375. Moncada racked up a career high 84 walks in 2021, but he still struck out 157 times.
The 27 year old still has a lot of baseball left in his career, and a lot of good baseball as well. Every player has a period of struggle in their career, but the easy solution is to hire a new hitting coach to get Yoan Moncada back to a comfortable position at the plate and to be his normal aggressive self again.
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