The 2016 All Star game was played on July 12th last year. Two weeks later the Astros called up their top prospect Alex Bregman after he made an appearance in the Futures Game.
Mike Trout was called up in early July of 2011 and former top prospect Miguel Sano was also called up right around the mid-season break. So it’s not crazy to think the White Sox, who ended their first half by getting blown out and almost no-hit in Colorado, would call up Yoan Moncada sometime this month.
Rest assured, it doesn’t seem that a promotion at this point in his career would be a desperate move by a team that is getting less attention than its minor league affiliates. Moncada has nothing left to prove at Triple-A Charlotte as his .831 OPS, 11 home runs and 16 stolen bases are the mark of a top prospect who is ready for the next step in his career.
If he’s called up, what the White Sox should throw at him is up for debate. Traditionalists will say he should prove himself before being moved to the top or middle of the batting order, but limiting the at bats of your top prospect on a team that is going nowhere seems like pure stupidity.
As does limiting his exposure on the defensive side of things. Moncada has only played second base this season in Charlotte, which doesn’t suggest the White Sox will start moving him around the diamond to see what fits him best anytime soon. But in these meaningless games with a prospect who some don’t project to work out as a second baseman, why not get his feet wet at third or even the outfield?
Of course, Moncada’s true value will come when he has a bat in his hands. Calling him up within the next few weeks will not only give the fans something to watch, but will expose him to Major League pitching without the added pressure of needing to win. Patience will be key, as it often is with free swingers, but better for him to take his lumps now than when the White Sox might start contending.