White Sox stacked for future; Moncada up

July 19th, 2017

CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn could be excused for burying the news of 's near arrival during his press conference following his team's 1-0 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Hahn first addressed the trade sending third baseman , closer and right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees for prospects Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo, along with right-handed reliever . It was then when Hahn spoke of the news caused by the roster opening.

Moncada, the No. 1 prospect in the Majors per MLBPipeline.com, will make his White Sox debut Wednesday against the Dodgers, after being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. Moncada takes over as the team's starting second baseman.

"We aren't bringing him here to sit," Hahn said of Moncada. "We are bringing him here to continue the development that needs to take place in Chicago.

"He still has some work to do. He's obviously still very young. But we feel that he's ready for that next challenge that comes at the big league level."

Moncada, 22, batted .282 with 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, 57 runs scored, 49 walks, 17 stolen bases and a .377 on-base percentage over 80 games with Charlotte. The switch-hitter has also impressed with his defensive improvement at second.

In eight games as a September callup for the Red Sox last year, Moncada went 4-for-19 with an RBI and three runs scored. Even with Moncada's marked improvement this season, Hahn knows there will still be struggles.

"There's going to be growing pains here. He's not a finished product," Hahn said. "I don't suspect any of these players as they make their debut here in the coming months, and years, no matter how highly anticipated they may be, there's still going to be an element of development that's going to happen in Chicago. The thought is it's time for Yoan to get that opportunity to take that next step."

The moves continue the ongoing rebuild engineered by Hahn, who now has seven prospects among MLBPipeline.com's Top 50, and 10 in the Top 68, as part of the White Sox organization. Just last week, the White Sox acquired outfielder Eloy Jimenez (Pipeline's No. 8 overall prospect) and right-hander Dylan Cease (No. 63) from the Cubs in the Jose Quintana deal. In addition to acquiring Moncada and right-hander Michael Kopech (No. 11) from Boston in the Chris Sale trade, Chicago also acquired right-handers Lucas Giolito (No. 28) and Reynaldo Lopez (No. 36) from Washington as part of the Adam Eaton swap. The activity wasn't limited to trades, either, as the White Sox also signed 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Luis Robert. He's ranked as the No. 23 prospect in baseball and received a $26 million signing bonus in May, which represents the second-largest bonus ever given to an international amateur, behind only Moncada, who got $31 million from Boston two years ago.

MLBPipeline.com ranks Rutherford as Chicago's new No. 6 prospect, while Clarkin ranks 18th.

Reliever also will join the White Sox from Charlotte. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.58 ERA. He allowed four runs in one-third of an inning during his big league debut in Detroit on June 3.