GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The results have not been what Yoan Moncada desired through nine Cactus League games with the White Sox, going 3-for-18 with eight strikeouts, although he has drawn a team-high five walks.But these early numbers aren't of much concern for the 21-year-old switch-hitter, or anybody else in the
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The results have not been what Yoan Moncada desired through nine Cactus League games with the White Sox, going 3-for-18 with eight strikeouts, although he has drawn a team-high five walks.
But these early numbers aren't of much concern for the 21-year-old switch-hitter, or anybody else in the organization.
"You work with a purpose, and my purpose is to play in the big leagues and to play in the big leagues with this team, to make the team out of Spring Training," Moncada said through an interpreter. "But that's something that I can't control. I'm just doing what I can control -- to work hard and do my preparation, and do what the coaches ask me to do. That's the only thing I can do."
"We see him every single day working on, obviously, his offense," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "But it's one of those things where the games and the experience that he continues to garner through the spring is just trying to get him ready for the regular season. He has been pretty impressive. He has been pretty diligent in his work. We're really happy with how he's moving forward."
Moncada's first Spring Training with the White Sox certainly hasn't been without glimpses of his immense potential placing him as the Majors' No. 2 prospect per MLBPipeline.com.
During last Friday night's game against the Padres in Peoria, Ariz., Moncada pulled a fastball down the right-field line while hitting left-handed to score Tim Anderson from first. Moncada basically glided into second base via his natural speed, and then hit a second gear to turn a double into a triple.
As Renteria pointed out Thursday, Moncada also places great focus on his defense at second.
"He has been taking extra ground balls. He is asking [bench coach] Joey [McEwing], or one of the other coaches, to get him more ground balls," Renteria said. "He has really been working in trying to establish a foundation in his fielding with his lower half, which we see is improving every single day."
"What I've been learning here is that you have to wait for your time, and be patient," Moncada said. "But you have to be ready for that opportunity, too."
With Brett Lawrie's release, Tyler Saladino, Yolmer Sanchez and Leury Garcia will split the duties at second base when the regular season begins. Moncada figures to start the year with Triple-A Charlotte, but a promotion to the big league club is not too far away.
That timetable hasn't weighed on the mind of Moncada, who is having fun in his first White Sox camp.
"I'm enjoying everything here," Moncada said. "I like to be on the field. I like to play. I'm just having fun and taking advantage of this opportunity.
"I don't try to think too much about where I'm going to start the season. I'm trying to do my job. At the end of the day, it's a decision they have to make. It's not my decision. I'm good. I'm trying to enjoy the day, every day."
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.