Powell: White Sox do what they needed to do–trade Chris Sale
By Kevin Powell
And so it begins….
This is what the White Sox needed to do. This is what a rebuild looks like. It’s understandable if moving one of the top ten pitchers in baseball stings, but this is when the real healing begins. They NEEDED to do this. It just felt like time to part ways with the five-time All Star. And at least on paper, the Sox received a nice haul in the process, getting four of Boston’s Top 30 prospects, per MLB.com. Moncada is the top prospect in all of baseball.
Here’s a piece of MLB.com’s scouting report on Moncada:
Few middle infielders can match Moncada’s huge offensive ceiling, which earns him comparisons to Robinson Cano with more speed. He’s a switch-hitter with outstanding bat speed who makes consistent hard contact from both sides of the plate. Moncada has added some loft to his swing in 2016 and has the potential for 20-25 home runs per season.
And the top pitching prospect they got in return, Michael Kopech:
Few Minor League starters have a better fastball than Kopech, who sits at 95-97 mph and reaches triple digits with nasty late life. His breaking ball also can look make hitters look bad, as he has refined what once was a hybrid pitch into a slider that reaches the low 90s.
And on outfielder Luis Basabe:
Though he still has a long ways to go at the plate, Basabe is a switch-hitting center fielder with five-tool potential. He’s not physically imposing but already generates impressive power with bat speed and strong forearms and wrists, and he should have more once he adds some muscle. He shows some signs of plate discipline, but needs to improve his pitch recognition so he can make consistent contact and maximize his considerable offensive potential.
And finally, pitcher Victor Diaz:
Diaz’s fastball usually sits at 95-98 mph and continues to peak in the triple digits. His heater has some late life to go with its impressive velocity, and it elicits swings and misses in the strike zone — when he finds the strike zone. He also has a pair of intriguing, though inconsistent, power secondary pitches in a short slider and a splitter that both range from 88-93 mph.
Moncada is somebody that has tremendous upside, you can build around him along with shortstop Tim Anderson. It’ll be interesting what sort of domino effect the Sale trade has. Is Todd Frazier next? And what about Jose Quintana? This is the start of the new look White Sox.
Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7p. Follow on twitter @kpowell720