The buzz of anticipation that surrounded Yoan Moncada’s White Sox debut was almost certain to outweigh what actually happened once the game was played. But while the result of Wednesday’s opening stanza of the Moncada era was anything but memorable — 0-for-2 in a 9-1 blowout loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers — what we were offered was a glimpse of why the excitement is justified.
Moncada’s first plate appearance saw him work back from a 0-2 count to draw a walk after fighting off or laying off a number of close pitches low and inside from Los Angeles starter Kenta Maeda. Plate appearances like this with the patience he displayed are why his swing-and-miss concerns are less prevalent than they would be in a player with a lesser skill set.
this was literally a foul ball and Moncada made the whole stadium gasp. what a swing. pic.twitter.com/dEHXBJeqa7
— Matt Provenzano (@mattprov94) July 20, 2017
Moncada’s next two plate appearances showed what happens when he makes contact. While neither resulted in a hit, The proceeding gif was a rocket down the line that went foul by inches, and he recorded two loud outs in a shot right at Cody Bellinger in the fourth inning and drive on 2-0 right to center fielder Joc Pederson that came off the bat at more than 100 mph.
These are unimpressive results but the process was promising. Moncada struck out 12 times, walked just once, and looked overwhelmed in his short 20-plate appearance stint with the Red Sox last September. He saw 18 pitches in his three plate appearances Wednesday and the tools he showed in each are the exact reason he was the No. 1 prospect in baseball for a good chunk of the last calendar year.
It’s going to be important over the next 2 1/2 months for both Moncada and those observing him (for our own sanity) not not overreact to the ebbs and flows that come with a still developing young player of Moncada’s ilk. For the rest of this season and probably longer, the process will be important than the results.
Eventually, those things will go hand-in-hand, and if Wednesday’s introduction is a glimpse of what we’re going to start seeing on a regular basis, the results will undoubtedly follow.
Lead Photo Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports