By Kevin Powell
Just a few weeks into the season Yoan Moncada is reminding everyone why he was once the top-ranked prospect in baseball.
“There is a combination of things,” manager Rick Renteria said after the White Sox beat the Royals 5-1 for their third straight win. “I think he’s attacking earlier and he’s also defending late. He’s not necessarily chasing out of the zone late he’s putting balls in play that he normally might just take.”
Moncada recorded his first multi-homer game of his career, smacking two Tuesday night.
“They are manageable, hittable pitches so he is now trusting that he can do something with that pitch that might be borderline,” Renteria said. “And he’s driving the ball. He’s having really good at-bats.”
Moncada, who made the move from second to third this season, has reached base safely in 12 of 15 games and he’s batting .500 over the last three.
Following the win, Moncada made it very clear that he’s benefiting from the move to third.
“It has helped me a lot,” he said through team translator Billy Russo. “Playing second base you have to be focused on many different things. Playing third base, now I just react to the balls (hit near me). But I also worked a lot on my game this offseason.”
Moncada primarily played third while developing his game in Cuba.
“Everything,” teammate Yonder Alonso said when asked if he had seen any changes from Moncada from last year to this season. “Just a guy who’s focused, guy who comes in here with a mission, a guy who comes in here with a purpose.”
-The Sox have won their first series at home this season, and have victories in four of their last five.
-Entering the game with a 12.15 ERA, Tuesday night was clearly Reynaldo Lopez’s best game of the season. He made it through six innings for the first time and allowed just one run on five hits while striking out five.
-The Sox hit back-to-back homers for the second time this season.
-The Sox homered four times for the second game this season.
Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7pm. Follow on twitter @kpowell720