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Yoán Moncada should not stop switch-hitting

Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rebuild

Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Without These Two: The rebuild fails.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to

This is not a detailed analysis of why Yoán Moncada should not, will not, or will stop switch-hitting.

It does submit that he should continue switch-hitting, and issues a plea to you, my fellow South Siders, to let that process play out.

Per our stats pardner FanGraphs, here’s the poop: Tim Anderson, 25, leads the White Sox in WAR (1.5). Moncada, 23, is second (1.3 WAR), and only his latest slump has opened up the mere possibility of him not being the team MVP this season.

Both players get their share of crap from us in comments. That’s because we have higher expectations of our keystone duo than anybody on the team.

Just yesterday, as I mentioned in my gamer, Yoán aided the scoring of our only run — the winning run in the game, off of perennial Cy Young Award candidate and former men’s blouse critic Chris Sale — by advancing Kevan Smith from second to third when he sacrificed himself by hitting the ball to the right side.

It bears repeating: off of freaking Chris Sale.

You smart apples out there can say, dude, Moncada was late on a heater, case closed. But no, Moncada was getting pounded inside with four-seam heat from Sale, on both the second and third pitch of the at-bat.

It was no weak, maple-snapple contact; Yoán took 99 mph, inside heat and spanked that cheese the other way, with malice. And with intent.

It’s damning with hilarious positivity, but manager Ricky Renteria said as much postgame, first citing Moncada getting Smith over to third, then praising Trayce Thompson’s slap to left for the score:

Moncada didn’t whiff, he didn’t tap a dribble to short and make Kevan crack an ankle again putting on the brakes on the basepaths, Moncada did his job. If he wasn’t a sound player, or, put another way, if he was a player who “didn’t listen” (imagine a Boston writer defending the Sale trade by dragging Yoán ... gasp! ... for a Red Sox writer, or any writer, to claim in 2018 that Boston will not regret this trade is pure asininity), he’d have “heroed up” and whiffed trying to bang one off of the Monster.

He’s 23. Who among us, at 23, wouldn’t have summoned our inner KenWo and attempted to clank one off the Monster?

The suggestion in today’s gamer by Danks for Nothin that Yoán dump switch-hitting wasn’t unreasonable, or presented with meathead zeal. Right Size Wrong Shape’s immediate response to chill over Moncada was fair, as well. This is the stuff that makes for good discussion.

My 2¢, but I’m pretty sure Danks’s own rationale, that there’s nothing to lose this season, is why the White Sox will keep Yoán switch-hitting. No way they bail on him batting from the right side before a full season is under his belt, with an offseason of work attending to any righty weaknesses, and, then, a dogawful showing next spring or early next year.

He’s 23, and he’s almost guaranteed to be the most valuable player on the team this year, worst case second to Tim (and that wouldn’t be bad at all, because it would mean Anderson is putting up at least a 4.0 WAR season, or better).

Deep breaths, my friends. Let Dylan Covey sing his lullaby to you all tonight ...