CHICAGO -- Here's a hard to believe fact about Yoan Moncada, the No. 1 prospect per MLBPipeline.com and the hero of the White Sox 3-2, series-sweeping victory over the Astros in 11 innings Thursday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.His single off Francis Martes to bring home Leury Garcia marked Moncada's first
CHICAGO -- Here's a hard to believe fact about Yoan Moncada, the No. 1 prospect per MLBPipeline.com and the hero of the White Sox 3-2, series-sweeping victory over the Astros in 11 innings Thursday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
His single off Francis Martes to bring home Leury Garcia marked Moncada's first walk-off hit at any level of competition.
"Yes, in my life. First time," Moncada said through interpreter Billy Russo. "I feel very excited."
After striking out with runners on base in the fifth and seventh via a slider and changeup, respectively, Moncada turned a 2-0 fastball at 98.7 mph from closer Ken Giles into a game-tying home run to left-center with one out in the ninth.
"Got to tip my cap off to him," said Giles, who felt as if he made a good pitch on the black of the plate in the ninth and even checked the video for confirmation. "He put a good swing on it and drove it the other way. Nothing I can do. Can't really be mad about it. Good pitch, good swing. Hats off to him."
That pitch marked the second-fastest hit by a White Sox player for a home run this year, with Todd Frazier going deep off a 99.3-mph fastball on June 8. Moncada also became the first South Sider since Tyler Flowers on Sept. 8, 2014, against Oakland to hit a game-tying homer in the ninth and then walk it off in extras.
Joe Crede stands as the last White Sox rookie to accomplish such a feat on Aug. 27, 2002, against Toronto. Moncada was hit with pretty much everything his teammates could find in the postgame celebration and had his jersey shredded during the scrum.
As for memorabilia taken from the night, Moncada said the memories were enough.
"I'm going to say from my heart is just the celebration, the moment," Moncada said.
"I had a chance to watch Moncada in Triple-A, and I tell you what, it was something special," said White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, who finished with a no-decision after allowing two runs over eight innings without walking a hitter. "That patience up there, you see it, lot of 0-2 to 3-2 to walks. He battles and it's about time. He's got a good bat. Just a special player, man."
Including Thursday's results, Moncada has reached base safely in 17 of his last 31 plate appearances (seven walks). Moncada's average has reached .213, after starting the season at 4-for-42, and his on-base percentage is a robust .377.
Those walks are all part of the process, according to Moncada.
"It was something indescribable," Moncada said. "All my emotions were to the roof when I hit that ball and then when I was running the bases. It was something unique."
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.