Few players in baseball made bigger steps forward from 2018 to 2019 than Yoán Moncada. In one season, he flipped the “Is this guy a bust?” narrative and effectively silenced those questions. But despite posting a .315/.367/.548 slash line, Moncada didn’t garner an All-Star nod in 2019, and seemingly few paid enough attention to how well he was doing.
Moncada is hardly unfamiliar to baseball fans; he was one of the centerpieces of the 2016 trade that sent Chris Sale to Boston and played his first games with the White Sox in 2017. Still, his stellar 2019 season deserves more discussion.
Moncada was among the best in baseball in average exit velocity (92.8 mph) and WAR (5.7, per FanGraphs), and he finished third in the American League batting title race while putting together a .915 OPS.
And Moncada did all this while playing a new position on defense. He had only dabbled as a third baseman while with the Red Sox three years ago, but since going to Chicago, Moncada spent all his time at second base. But a move to the hot corner didn’t slow him; in fact, Moncada was arguably among the top-10 best position players in baseball.