As a White Sox fan, you are probably already aware that one of the biggest stars of the past few years is gone. We’re talking about Chris Sale, the White Sox ace pitcher and one of the bright spots for the team. As Sox fans and followers, we knew that this was going to happen. He was the biggest bargaining chip the team had, but the big question was: what would they get in return?
Would management continued its attempt to “win right now” or would this show that the team was looking to the future and undergo a true rebuilding period? A time when fans would groan and moan as these new, young, players found their footing in the majors in the hopes that, in a couple of seasons, the team might be a real contender.
Well, Rick Hahn and the White Sox pulled off one of the biggest and most exciting trades of the off-season. Sale went to the Red Sox and, in exchange, they got Red Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech, as well as minor leaguers Luis Alexander and Victor Diaz.
However, the one name that got thrown around as the most exciting off the off season was Yoan Moncada. Routinely ranked by the sports media as the number one prospect in all of baseball, many have expressed the opinion that this part of the trade alone set a major platform for the White Sox to build upon and perhaps become a real contender for the playoffs and championships down the road.
Who the heck is Yoan Moncada?
Well, he’s a native of Cuba and he played for the Cuban Cienfuegos starting in 2012. He played two years for that team and in that time he had .277/.388/.380. He also managed to notch four homers and 21 stolen bases. After two years there, he asked for, and received, permission from the Cuban government to go play for in the majors in the United States.
In 2015, during the cold month of February, the Boston Red Sox signed the promising new fielder and slugger. They thought so much of his abilities that they signed this young man for $31.5 million. He was then sent into their farm system and to the single-A Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League.
While with Greenville that first year he made 363 plate appearances in 81 games. He batted an average of .278 with an On Base Percentage of .380. He had 8 home runs, 85 hits, 38 RBI and 49 stolen bases.
When the 2016 season started, Moncada was ranked as the 5th best prospect in the MLB. He finally got his first big league appearance during that season, on September 2, 2016 as the Red Sox faced the Oakland As. He walked during his first at bat, but later scored a run and then, the very next day, got his first big league hit.
Of the prospects so far, he seems to be the one generating the most excitement for the future. The team seems bent on bringing in more hot, top, prospects from teams in both leagues and there are rumors right now that Quintana is on the block for more prospects – although the team that this deal is with seems to change daily.
For Sox fans, this is an exciting time. It’s always sad to see team members got that we have gotten accustomed to over the past few years and lots of young players means we could be looking at some seriously bad losing seasons for a couple of years.
However, the White Sox management seems willing to deal, make the hard choices, and get some serious young talent that we now get to watch develop and come into their own over the next couple of years. It’s a tactic the cross-town team, the Cubs, did and they just won the World Series.
So, buckle up, Sox fans, and get ready for “rebuilding.” Hopefully done right, too. Just keep your eye on the young man named Yoan Moncada. The potential there seems like a real bright spot for the upcoming season.
Photo from MLB.com