CHICAGO -- It was White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada's glove work, not his bat or legs, drawing the attention Saturday night during the White Sox 5-4 loss before 30,115 at Guaranteed Rate Field.MLB's top prospect per MLBPipeline.com executed highlight-reel plays on back-to-back pitches from Miguel Gonzalez in the top
CHICAGO -- It was White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada's glove work, not his bat or legs, drawing the attention Saturday night during the White Sox 5-4 loss before 30,115 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
MLB's top prospect per MLBPipeline.com executed highlight-reel plays on back-to-back pitches from Miguel Gonzalez in the top of the fourth inning. Moncada first ranged up the middle toward the shortstop side of second to grab an Erik Gonzalez grounder and then threw across his body in the same motion to first baseman Jose Abreu for the out. Moncada was almost to the shortstop position by the time he released the ball.
Bradley Zimmer then tried to lay down a bunt and actually got it past a diving Miguel Gonzalez. But Moncada made the play and flipped it to Abreu with his glove for the second out.
"Two great plays," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Probably one the best catches and releases, quickest release you've ever seen. I think it was on the shortstop side.
"A little [Robinson] Cano-ish. And then obviously the real slow roller in the 4-hole that he came in with the glove, ended up deflecting back over to Pito [Abreu]. Really nice. It's the kind of athletic prowess he winds up bringing to the table. People were pretty excited to see it. Those are some of the things they should be excited about."
Moncada made a similar glove flip as part of the Red Sox's organization in '16, but those two plays are the only ones he remembers of that nature.
"I just tried to catch the ball, and as soon as I caught it, I just tried to throw it as fast as I can," said Moncada through interpreter Billy Russo while sporting the White Sox Hawaiian shirt giveaway postgame. "I feel good playing that position, and to be able to stay there is something that made me play the game more relaxed, because that's the position I know how to play."
Moncada was hit in the left knee by an Andrew Miller slider to load the bases in the seventh. He was down in pain for a bit, but felt fine postgame.
There's also little concern from Moncada regarding his slow start offensively, which featured three more strikeouts Saturday and an 0-for-4 showing, giving him four hits in 34 at-bats. As general manager Rick Hahn has stated numerous times, this rebuild is a process, and there will be some lumps taken and growing pains along the way.
But Moncada's defensive prowess offered another glimpse of good things to come.
"Yeah man. There's definitely a lot of talent," Miguel Gonzalez said. "I'm excited to be around it. It's fun to watch these guys go out there and perform the way they can."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.