After a strong finish to spring training, Yoan Moncada picked up right where he left off in his Charlotte Knights debut.
The No. 2 MLB prospect went 3-for-5 with three singles, two runs, a stolen base and a walk on Thursday in Triple-A Charlotte's 9-8 win in 11 innings over the Norfolk Tides.
"It was a good game," Moncada said. "It was a good way to start the season. I felt really good with my bat, with my swing. I hit the ball with authority throughout the whole field. My legs were loose and ready to run, I took every opportunity to make an impression and to help my team.
"I was anxious to start the season. I was excited before the game started. It was a very exciting experience with the fans and my teammates."
In his final seven spring training games, Moncada went 10-for-22 with three doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs. It's the kind of production the White Sox are banking on for when he reaches The Show one day in Chicago.
Though manager Rick Renteria was thrilled to see Moncada have a nice debut, he isn't thinking ahead about what it’d be like to coach the team's top prospect just yet.
"I'm glad that he got three hits last night," Renteria said. "I'm glad that he's moving forward. I think for me to start thinking that far ahead wouldn't be prudent. I think it doesn't serve me in any way, shape or form at this particular time with what we're trying to do with the guys that are here."
The White Sox No. 4 prospect, Reynaldo Lopez, started Thursday's game and pitched three innings. He allowed three hits, four runs (two earned), a home run and three walks while striking out five.
Lopez said he enjoyed the Opening Day experience with his new club, but admitted that playing in cold and windy weather made things challenging for him.
"I felt good," Lopez said. "The first two innings I felt all my pitches were sharp, but in the third I couldn't feel my hand because of the cold weather, and then I started to have some complications. But overall, I felt good."
Zack Burdi made an appearance for the Knights as well. The Downers Grove-native pitched 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and a walk.
In Single-A Winston-Salem, Zack Collins had himself a day for the Dash. The 10th overall pick of the 2016 draft went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, and a walk.
Luis Alexander Basabe, the team's No. 8 rated prospect, went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
While Renteria has his own club to manage, he keeps a close eye on how his young talent is doing at the minor-league level.
"We keep track of all that stuff," Renteria said. "There are a lot of things that we keep our eye on. Obviously, we try to make sure we're focused on what we're doing here but yes, we keep an eye on what's going on down there, how guys are pitching, how guys are taking their at-bats, how they're defending.
"And then beyond that, the reports that we get that are connected to those numbers, to see if they correlate."
With the 2016 MLB Draft and the returns the White Sox received from the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, the team’s farm system has vastly improved from this time a year ago. Given that the team is in rebuild mode, it's easy to assume that the White Sox could be following their top prospects closer than usual.
But Renteria is approaching it the same way he did in 2016.
"I can't speak to that because I wasn't in that office doing those things," Renteria said. "I can tell you for most organizations it's pretty consistent, everybody kind of keeps abreast of what's going on within their organization, in their system. I don't think it probably was any different for us than what it's going to be this year."