The Chicago White Sox slugger has been on a tear, going 11-for-27 (.407) with four doubles and six RBIs over a current nine-game hitting streak. That includes going 1-for-2 with a couple of walks in a 2-1 White Sox victory on Wednesday versus the Twins.
Perhaps change is all that was needed: After starting the season with a very dismal .191 average, the third baseman has really changed things around since being moved to the No. 3 spot in the White Sox lineup, pushing his slash line up to .284/.407/.411.
Moncada has shown over his current nine-game hitting streak, with almost MVP-caliber numbers, just why the White Sox have always been so high on the former No. 1 prospect. While the third baseman battled the effects of the coronavirus in 2020, in 2019 he put up very stellar offensive numbers and made many think Moncada would be the first of the White Sox great crop of young talent to win the MVP award.
Moncada has not only had a nine game hitting streak, but also had a hit and walk in eight straight games to tie a franchise record.
8 straight games for Yoán Moncada with both a hit AND walk ties the White Sox franchise record.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) May 19, 2021
Yoán Moncada May 2021
Frank Thomas April 1996
Frank Thomas May 1992
Iván Calderon April 1988
Pat Seerey June 1948
Eddie Collins Sept 1915
Now with the 25-year-old and many of the rest of the White Sox young core starting to finally click, the team has gone 20-8 after a very dismal 6-8 start. Despite the unfortunate loss of Luis Robert this month and Eloy Jiménez before the season, Chicago is finally starting to look more like a World Series-contending team.
And Moncada has not been doing it only with his bat, but his glove as well, making several great plays at third and playing a near-Gold Glove caliber third base for the White Sox. Moncada’s 78 assists at third is third-best in all of baseball, and second in the American League for third basemen. Not only that, but according to FanGraphs Moncada also has been the best defensive third baseman in all of baseball while also leading all qualified third baseman in UZR, too, giving Moncada an argument as the best overall player on the team.
A healthy and productive Moncada is crucial to Chicago’s playoff aspirations, in any year but particularly one that’s already seen the losses of Jiménez and Robert. It’s no coincidence that his recent hot streak has helped push the White Sox through a dominating streak and into first place.