Yoan Moncada Is Ready To Roll

"I have kept my energy going the whole time," Moncada says.

Bruce Levine
July 01, 2020 - 6:26 pm

(670 The Score) From 2018 to 2019, White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada made one of the biggest jumps of anyone in MLB.

After nearly setting an MLB record for strikeout futility by whiffing 217 times and hitting .235 in 2018, Moncada responded with a breakout season. He hit .315 with 25 homers, 79 RBIs and a .915 OPS in 2019. His strikeout rate also dropped from 33.4% to 27.5% year over year.

It’s with that in mind that the 25-year-old Moncada is thrilled to get back to action, even if it is in the form of a shortened 60-game season due to the coronavirus pandemic and ugly labor discussions. The White Sox begin on-field work at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday.

"It will definitely be different," Moncada said. "We will be training in two separate groups -- one in the morning and one in the afternoon. That will be interesting to experience as a team. We will wait until Friday to see how it goes. It might not be more difficult, but it will be different. I have kept my energy going the whole time. I think I will be able to display all the things I am able to do on the field.”

"I feel pretty good coming in. In Florida the last few weeks, I started lifting. I also have been hitting with the limitations we have had in this situation. I am ready to go. I was working in a very controlled and limited environment. As for bringing my family to Chicago, that isn't in the plans right now. That is something I will discuss with my wife later on."

While a few MLB players have opted out of playing in 2020 because of safety concerns for themselves and their families, Moncada had no doubts about his status.

"I respect the decision of players who said they will not play," he said. "For me, it never crossed my mind to stay home during the season. I was ready to play as soon as they told us it was figured out. This is what we do, and I am ready."

Moncada even found a silver lining in start of the season being delayed.

"As you know, I don't like playing in cold weather," Moncada said. "For me, it will feel like playing in Cuba. This is the kind of weather we are used to in Cuba. I think it will be very comfortable for all of us."

And as for the White Sox’s chances in the AL Central?

"We are in a very good position to compete in our division," Moncada said. "The team to beat is the Minnesota Twins. I think we have a very good team to compete against them. This will be a very short season, so every game is more important. You cannot afford to make many mistakes."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.