White Sox second baseman Yoán Moncada is “open to a position change,” according to comments made by GM Rick Hahn over the weekend. It appears to be something the club is considering as they head into their third rebuilding year, though Hahn noted that the decision would hinge on any pickups the club makes over the offseason.
It’s not the first time Hahn or Moncada has addressed the potential shift away from second base. After the 23-year-old infielder closed out his 2018 run with 21 errors and a .963 fielding percentage (eclipsed only by the Reds’ José Peraza and Red Sox’ Rafael Devers, the latter of whom committed 24 errors with a .926 fielding percentage), Hahn told reporters he believes Moncada’s athleticism will make him an “above-average defender at other positions.” Moncada himself said he’d be willing to move back to third base, a position he occupied during his rookie campaign with the Red Sox in 2016. There’s also a possibility that he could be considered at shortstop or center field, although he has yet to play either position at the major league level.
While Moncada’s defensive skills leave something to be desired, that isn’t necessarily the driving force behind a future position change. First-round draft pick and highly-touted middle infielder, Nick Madrigal, is considered a premier talent at second base and will likely command the position when he eventually works his way up to the majors. With Madrigal waiting in the wings, and notable free agents like Manny Machado and Daniel Murphy hitting the market this winter, it’s conceivable that the White Sox would want to transition Moncada to the hot corner sooner rather than later.