Yoan Moncada working to learn White Sox culture

Yoan Moncada working to learn White Sox culture

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Yoan Moncada is still trying to familiarize himself with the White Sox but his new club probably don’t feel all that unfamiliar.

At the very least, the rookie second baseman has a strong support group in his first week of spring training. Whether is a seat next to Jose Abreu in the clubhouse, chats with Jose Quintana on the field, or the comfort provided with a manager who speaks the same language, the White Sox clearly want their prized prospect to adapt to his new team. Already in town for the past few days, Moncada participated in the club’s first full-squad workout on Saturday at Camelback Ranch.

“I’m just trying to get to know the culture here, the guys, the staff, the players, how they like to work,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “And so far I’ve been good. Also, the change of the city and state, especially in spring training, I’m getting to know that a little bit better right now.”

Moncada’s comfort is only likely to grow now that Abreu is also in town. The veteran first baseman reported to camp around noon on Saturday (his flight was delayed by weather) and took his physical. Abreu and Moncada played together in 2012 for Cienfuegos and they spent much of the weekend at SoxFest together having fun. Abreu has spoke glowingly about Moncada, who came over from Boston in the Chris Sale trade, and is interested in helping him get comfortable at the big league level. Moncada, who debuted last season, likes having Abreu around.

“That’s a good advantage for me,” Moncada said. “I know him. He knows me. We played together in Cuba. We haven’t yet had the opportunity to practice together. Today was our first day and he wasn’t here, but that’s something that is going to be very good for me.”

So too is the addition of manager Rick Renteria, who is bilingual and addressed his clubhouse in both languages on Saturday. While he’s only getting to know his new teammates and coaches, Moncada is comfortable with the knowledge he can clearly communicate with the man in charge. All those elements should pave the way for Moncada to maximize his development in camp rather than worry about things off the field.

“He’s an excellent manager,” Moncada said. “He can speak both languages, especially Spanish for me, I can communicate with him. That’s a huge advantage for me and I like that. I think that we are going to have a very good season and we are just waiting for the season to start.”

Yoan Moncada's two-year-old son has already nailed the bat flip

Yoan Moncada's two-year-old son has already nailed the bat flip

White Sox No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada's baseball prowess is already rubbing off on his two-year-old son.

An Instagram video was posted on Friday morning that shows Robinson Moncada (Yoan's son) making his baseball debut. After ripping the ball off the tee, Robinson displayed top-notch bat-flipping skills that even Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista would be proud of.

Yoan Moncada was at a loss for words when he was shown the video at White Sox spring training.

As the White Sox continue their rebuild, maybe Robinson could be the missing piece to a World Series run in a few years. 

There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart..Pursue those. #smallerballer

A post shared by Robinson Moncada ⚾️ (@robinsonmoncada24) on

(h/t Barstool Sports for Robinson Moncada gif)

White Sox well represented on Baseball Prospectus' Top 101 list

White Sox well represented on Baseball Prospectus' Top 101 list

The White Sox have gotten plenty of credit on their revamped farm system this winter and that continued with Baseball Prospectus' Top 101 prospects list Monday.

The Sox planted six guys on BP's list with Yoan Moncada coming in highest at No. 5 overall behind pitcher Alex Reyes (St. Louis Cardinals), shortstop Dansby Swanson (Atlanta Braves), outfielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston Red Sox) and shortstop J.P. Crawford (Philadelphia Phillies).

Here are the rest of the White Sox representatives on BP's list:

10. Lucas Giolito, RHP
30. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP
36. Michael Kopech, RHP
89. Zack Collins, C
97. Alec Hansen, RHP

[RELATED - Collins, Burdi excited for first White Sox camp]

Pitchers Carson Fulmer, Zack Burdi and Dane Dunning and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe round out BP's Top 10 White Sox prospects, but none of them cracked the Top 101 list.

Baseball America unveiled their Top 100 prospect list Friday and featured five of the six White Sox youngsters, though Moncada was ranked No. 2, behind only Benintendi.

Giolito, however, came in at 25th on BA's list with Lopez (31), Kopech (32) and Collins (56). Hansen did not crack BA's list.