Yoan Moncada wants the White Sox to look good for making him the centerpiece of the Chris Sale trade.
The second baseman, who is rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, is aware of the good publicity he has received since he received a $31.5-million signing bonus from the Boston Red Sox two years ago. Moncada, one of four prospects acquired in the deal for Sale, has drawn comparisons to Robinson Cano, albeit with more speed. And while the praise has been lofty, Moncada, who is participating this week in a White Sox hitters minicamp in Glendale, Ariz., seems to embrace the attention.
"I also have expectations about myself because of the trade," Moncada said through an interpreter. "This team gave up a lot to get me. I feel very humbled for this opportunity. I expect to be a big part of this team in the future and to help this team to win so many games and to win a World Series. That's my goal and that's the mindset that every one of us have to have."
Moncada is one of 15 White Sox minor leaguers to attend the three-day camp along with 2016 draftees Zack Collins, Jameson Fisher and Alex Call, among others.
The action is his first in a White Sox uniform since he was acquired last month and gave him the opportunity to meet with new manager Rick Renteria. Moncada believes that Renteria's Spanish fluency will allow him to be understood and on the same page with his new coaching staff. One area that could come in handy is Moncada's preferred position — second base.
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Last season, Moncada temporarily moved to third base to attempt to fill a void for the Red Sox. While he has no problem helping out whenever his team asks, he'd like to stay at second base, if possible. The White Sox intend to make Moncada, 21, a second baseman. He's expected to begin the season in the minor leagues.
"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."