Yoan Moncada: The White Sox Future Star Has Finally Arrived

I don’t know why, but I am really hyped about this young kid. I’m not even a Sox fan. I guess I just like the new style of play that a lot of these young guys have. Great defensive minded players with speed and power. Whether it’s Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Carlos Correa they are all built to play baseball. Yoan Moncada is a name that you can add to that list.

After releasing Brett Lawrie who started at second last year, Moncada seems well on his way to showing off his special abilities. Although the word is that he is going to start the year in Triple-A (eerily similar to Kris Bryant with the Cubs two years ago), I fully expect Yoan to spend the majority of the year in the big leagues.

I honestly don’t know which part of his name is more fun to say, Yoan or Moncada. I’m probably going with Yoan. His parents deserve a high five for this one.

What excites me about Moncada the most is his impressive power and speed. Think, Jose Altuve with less speed and about 4 feet taller. His speed is quite impressive though. You usually don’t expect guys that are 6’2″ 205 lbs to be burners but he certainly is. In 193 minor league games he stole 95 bases. As for power, he has 24 homeruns in that same time frame but has another 60 extra base hits. That’s an extra base hit and stolen base in almost half of his games.

 

This is a little crazy but if you project that out over a season, the Sox now have a second baseman that has shown the ability to hit 80 XBH and steal 82 bases in a season.

What seems much more likely is that Moncada becomes a perennial 20/40 guy that can possibly turn in to a 25/50 guy if he stays focused throughout his career.

My main concern with Moncada, though, is his very very high strikeout rate. Although he does walk an impressive 13% of the time in the minor leagues, he strikes out 24% of the time. Yoan will need to cut down on his strikeout rate if he wants to be able to take his game to the next level in the Majors.

Probably my favorite sabermetric for telling how well a player really does is wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created +. On this scale, 100 even is the baseline mark and is regarded as the league average. Every point above or below counts as 1% better or worse than the league average. In Moncada’s 2 years in the minor leagues he had a wRC+ of 143, or 43% higher than league average! What is even more interesting is that his wRC+ in A+ and AA was actually higher than it was in A and Rookie Ball!

I expect Moncada to be called up by June. Granted, that is two months in to the season, but in terms of fantasy baseball he is fully worth the stash on your bench for when the time does come.

Fantasy Expectations:

For this first season, although it will be a shortened one, I do have high expectations for Moncada. Second base has become more and more talented over the past two seasons, so finding a good one to fill in until the time comes shouldn’t be a problem. From the time Moncada gets the call up, I see him being a top 5 option at second base.

This might be a little ambitious to some, but for me it is right on the money.

The power and speed combo I talked about is real and is one of the most coveted combos in all of fantasy baseball. From June on I expect Moncada to hit .270 with 25 doubles, 5 triples, 16 home runs, knock in 65 runners and steal 30 bases. Hell, if they stick him at #2 in the order and let Abreu and The Todd Father hit behind him, this kid could potentially score 70 runs as well.

Draft him, stash him and then sit back in awe when he gets the call up and make yourself look like a total fantasy genius. I won’t even ask to take credit for it. This little nugget of info is on the house. You’re welcome.

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