He’s put in the work against left-handed pitching, but thus far Yoan Moncada hasn’t received the desired results.
The White Sox rookie is hopeful that Saturday night’s contest, when he hit his first-ever home run off a lefty in a 13-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants, is the first step toward that success. Moncada’s OPS against left-handed pitchers is nearly 200 points lower for his brief career than it is against righties. That’s led to questions from an impatient fan base about why he’s a switch-hitter instead of batting left-handed only. But Moncada thinks it’s important to not overthink the matter and continue to stick with an approach he ultimately believes will lead to success as long as he sticks to it.
“You have to keep to your approach, your motivation, your routine and I have to work hard every day,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “I have to be relentless in my work and in my approach, my preparation. That’s the only way I can do better and get the results that I want.”
While Moncada has performed OK against right-handed pitchers, he’s never fared well versus lefties. He has a .746 OPS against righties this season and was below .400 headed into Saturday against lefties.
But his solo homer off San Francisco’s Josh Osich was his first-ever and only his third extra-base hit of the season against a lefty. It raised Moncada’s OPS versus lefties to .507.
The White Sox think Moncada will improve with time and experience. To date he has only 50 plate appearances against southpaws compared with 110 against right-handers.
“He’s a young man who is gaining more and more experience,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Having more at-bats against lefties. Understanding what guys are trying to do with him. Trying to get pitches he can handle when he puts a swing on it. Trying to make good contact and on that one he did.”