White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada likes playing baseball in front of big crowds.
When the Cuban star originally signed with the Red Sox, he spent the first several weeks of his professional career in extended spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. By the time he finally made his debut with Boston’s Class A club in Greenville, S.C., on May 18, 2015, he was almost starved for attention.
He says he loves playing in front of a lot of people, a lot of fans, translator Laz Gutierrez said before that game, as Moncada offered a laugh that needed no translation. That was one of the things about Fort Myers that was driving him a little crazy.
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Moncada has been playing in front of big minor-league crowds with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, the top affiliate of the White Sox and highest-drawing team in the minor leagues, and now he’ll get his full-time opportunity on baseball’s biggest stages after his call up to the parent club Wednesday.
Moncada had 49 stolen bases with an .817 OPS in 81 games for Greenville in 2015, then had 15 homers, 31 doubles, 45 stolen bases and an .918 OPS in 106 games split between high-A and Double-A in Boston’s organization in 2016. He made his big-league debut in September, going 4-for-19 with the Red Sox.
Quandre Diggs Youth Jersey Then came the December trade to the White Sox — you remember that one, the blockbuster that sent Chris Sale to the Red Sox — and Moncada was assigned to Triple-A to start the 2017 season. Truthfully, he probably could have made his Chicago debut months ago and learned on the job in the big leagues, but the White Sox were in no rush.