White Sox’ Yoan Moncada homers against Hammel, Herrera
GLENDALE, Ariz. — White Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada hit consecutive home runs in his last two at-bats Wednesday, including one against hard-throwing Royals right-hander Kelvin Herrera. Moncada’s first homer came against starter Jason Hammel, who had shut out the Sox until then.
It served as a needed shot in the arm for the 21-year-old switch-hitter acquired in the trade for Chris Sale. The switch-hitter came into the game batting .200 with 13 strikeouts in 13 games and no homers. Before going deep, Moncada, playing second base, made his team-high fifth error of the spring on Raul Mondesi’s routine ground ball in the fifth inning.
“I’ve been putting a lot of effort in my defense because that’s an area I know I can improve,” Moncada said through team translator Billy Russo. “But I’m also putting a lot of effort into my offense because you can’t just worry about one aspect of the game. You have to worry on all aspects of the game. I’m just trying to get better in both of them.”
While Moncada hadn’t done much offensively, he has shown flashes of his speed with a triple and an easy, smooth swing. The Sox like his patient approach at the plate.
“This is a process and you know that you have to keep on working in this process,” Moncada said. “You’re going to have ups and downs but you have to keep doing your job and you have to keep working hard. I’m very happy with the process. The results are going to be there when I need it.”
“He’s chipping away at the approaches, trying to see enough pitches and get himself into a rhythm,” manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday. “He’s had really good moments in the games he’s played.
“We like where it’s going, he’s improving and he’s a young man just scratching at the surface of what he can potentially can be. Time and experience will ultimately what he is.”