After the White Sox acquired Yoan Moncada as the prize in the Chris Sale trade, it was immediately speculated on where the potential superstar will play once he makes it to the Bigs. Last season he played a handful of games at third base for the Red Sox, but that was simply based on need. Moncada himself spoke about his current situation and where he would like to play:
“I prefer to play second base,” Moncada said. “That’s my favorite position, my natural position. Last year I played 10 games at third base because Boston asked me to do it and I said yes. But yes, my favorite position is second base. But I don’t have any trouble if the team asks me to play any other position. I’m here to help the team win games and that’s it. But I prefer to play second base.”
It would be great if Moncada could stick at second because that’s a position normally void of a great offensive skill set. However, in my admittedly very limited exposure to Moncada in the field the first thing I recognized was that he looked much more suited for the hot corner. That doesn’t mean he can’t stick at second. Moncada has more quickness and pure athleticism than Robinson Cano, who also faced questions about his defensive capabilities early in his young career. Since then he’s won two Gold Gloves.
Even if Moncada is better at one position or the other, the Sox shouldn’t limit him to one spot on the diamond. As baseball evolves we’re continuously seeing the most versatile players being the most valuable. If you look to the North side you’ll see an MVP who plays most of his games at third but can also play all three outfield positions plus the middle infield if absolutely needed. Moncada is only 21 years old, so there’s no reason to limit him to one position this early in his career. It will only benefit him and the White Sox to learn multiple positions and become an all around plus defender to go along with his superstar-potential bat.