Chicago White Sox

Report: Sox sign ex-Arkansas, USC QB Mustain

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Report: Sox sign ex-Arkansas, USC QB Mustain

The White Sox have a decade-long tradition of acquiring former college quarterbacks, for what it's worth. Joe Borchard played QB at Stanford, Josh Fields was a signal-caller for Les Miles at Oklahoma State and Clayton Richard backed up Chad Henne at Michigan.

And now, according to a report, the White Sox have signed former Arkansas and USC quarterback Mitch Mustain to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. Mustain told KNWA, a Fox affiliate in Northwest Arkansas, that he will report to White Sox camp on March 8, about two weeks after pitchers and catchers report.

Mustain was a pitcher in high school, but didn't play any collegiate baseball as he focused on his football career.

A native of Springdale, Ark., Mustain was rated as a five-star quarterback by Rivals in 2006 and ranked only behind current Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (who, for the record, played baseball with reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw at Highland Park High School near Dallas) among prep quarterbacks.

In his first season at Arkansas, Mustain put up fairly normal numbers for a true freshman, completing 52.3 percent of his passes for 894 yards with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. But toward the end of the season, his playing time dwindled and he decided to transfer following the Razobracks' Nov. 28 win over LSU.

His pedigree led him to USC, where he found himself stuck behind Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley on the Trojans' depth chart. He only started one game for USC, that being a 20-16 loss to Notre Dame on Nov. 27, 2010 in Los Angeles.

After failing to be selected in last year's NFL Draft, Mustain had an unsuccessful 10-day trial with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.

According to USA Today, Mustain signed a contract with the Georgia Force of the AFL on Sept. 30 of 2011 with plans to report to the team in March. That article was published on Dec. 26 of last year, though, so something must have changed for Mustain to have signed this deal with the White Sox.

Or maybe Mustain will give baseball a shot and then go back to football if he struggles in spring training. Either way, this should be an interesting story to follow this March.

Woo pig sooie.

Forget about it: Yoan Moncada's ability to play through mistakes

Forget about it: Yoan Moncada's ability to play through mistakes

Yoan Moncada could have mentally taken himself out of Friday’s game in the third inning.

The White Sox prized prospect booted a routine groundball in the frame, contributing to a long, damaging Royals rally. A few singles, a Tim Anderson error and five runs later, it seemed as if the inning would never end on the South Side.

Mercifully, the Sox were finally able to return to their dugout because Moncada refocused and refused to allow one physical error to compound. 

The skilled second baseman ranged up the middle to scoop a hard-hit Brandon Moss grounder, preventing any further damage. One inning later, he pummeled a two-run blast to center to give the White Sox the lead for good.

It’s that type of short-term memory that has impressed the Sox in his first major league showing with the club.

"I don't think he consumes himself too much in the mistake,” Rick Renteria said after the 7-6 win. “Maybe he's just thinking about what he's trying to do the next time."

Moncada’s quite polished for a 22-year-old infielder who hasn’t even played a full season in the majors. His athletic ability allows him to make the highlight-reel plays frequently, so now it's about continuing to work on his fundamentals. 

“He's really improved significantly since he's gotten here,” Renteria said. “Not trying to be too flashy. The great plays that he makes just take care of themselves. He's got tremendous ability.” 

Since being called up, Moncada has added value to what is the arguably the best second base fielding team in the MLB. Although no defensive metric is perfect, between Moncada, Tyler Saladino and Yolmer Sanchez, the White Sox second basemen lead the league with 19 defensive runs saved above average. The Pirates have the next highest amount of runs saved by second basemen with 10, according to Baseball-Reference. 

With the enormous range, though, comes the inexperience. In just 46 games, Moncada has tallied eight errors. 

"It happens to the best of them," Renteria said. "He's one of the young men, along with (Anderson) and even (Jose Abreu), who are looking to improve a particular skill, which is defending."

It serves as a reminder that the likely infield of the future still has a ways to go. 

Geovany Soto details ‘total destruction’ of Puerto Rico after speaking with family

Geovany Soto details ‘total destruction’ of Puerto Rico after speaking with family

Geovany Soto’s family in Puerto Rico is safe after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island, leaving at least 24 people dead and virtually all residents without power.

The White Sox catcher said he spoke to his family Wednesday on the phone and they were in good spirits. Soto’s mom, dad and in-laws are in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while his wife and kids are with him in the U.S.

Soto said it’s “total destruction” on the island right now, and the best thing he can do to assist is sending necessary items.

“It’s really tough,” Soto said. “I talked to my parents and the toughest part is you have the money, you can buy batteries but there’s nothing left. So, the best thing I could probably do is kind of from over here is sending batteries, sending anything that I can think of that’s valuable for them right now.” 

Puerto Rico is still in emergency protocol as rescue efforts continue two days after the storm plowed onto land as a Category 4 hurricane. Just seeing the images was hard for Soto. 

"It was unbelievable," he said "You know it’s coming. It’s an island. It’s not like you can evacuate and go where? We don’t have a road that goes to Florida. It is what it is. We try to do the best that we can do with the preparation that they gave us. After you’ve done everything you just kind of brace yourself and keep good spirits and hope for the best."

Soto usually travels to Puerto Rico after the season, but because of the damage, he has yet to make a decision on when, or if, he'll go. 

The veteran catcher is the only Puerto Rican player on the Sox, but manager Rick Renteria's wife also has family on the island. 

"They're doing fine, thankfully," Renteria said. "I think that we expect to hear a little bit more in the next couple days."