BOSTON -- They’ve started to fall his way, but Yoan Moncada insists he’s staying focused on the process rather than worrying about the results.
The prized White Sox rookie singled twice more in four at-bats in Sunday afternoon’s 6-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox to cap off a strong series in his return to Fenway Park. Moncada posted his first two multi-hit games of the season and reached base in eight of 17 plate appearances over the four-game series.
“I understand that I’m trying to keep my focus on hitting the ball hard, put the barrel on the ball and try to get a good connection,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “The results are going to come either way, but that’s something I can’t control, just to make contact with the ball.”
Moncada picked up his first hit in the third inning on Sunday when he singled through the shift and into left field. Two innings later, he ripped a line drive single through the right side off Doug Fister. The exit velocity off Moncada’s bat was 106 mph.
It was yet another good sign for the rookie, who has gotten off to a slow start. Moncada is hitting .173/.288/.317 with three extra-base hits and six RBIs in 63 plate appearances. The second baseman has struck out 21 times but also walked nine.
“He started putting the bat on the ball a little bit more,” manager Rick Renteria said. “They tried to attack him to finish him with breaking balls out of the zone, down. I think he started to make some adjustments. I truly believe as I’m watching more and more, by the time we get to the end of this season, hopefully sooner than later, he’s going to start spitting on some of those pitches and going to be able start doing some more damage. They went into the shift, he ended up hitting against the shift. He handles the bat. He’s showing some ability, obviously, both physically defending on the field and with the stick. He’s going to be a pretty good player.”
Moncada believes it, too. He also knows if that maintaining consistency with his approach will ultimately generate results. Though his production hasn’t been what he’d like, Moncada has been happy with his process.
“Just keep working -- keep working on my defense and now I’m working harder on my offense because things haven’t gone as well as I wanted,” Moncada said. “Just keeping my routine. Try to work harder in the cage and in my approach and I think that’s the only thing that I have to keep doing. Keeping up with my routine and keep working hard to get the results that I know I can get on the field.”