White Sox' Pedro Grifol says Yoán Moncada 'here to do something special'

Grifol says Yoán Moncada 'here to do something special' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

New Chicago White Sox manage Pedro Grifol is trying to help the team live up to it's potential.

After back-to-back postseason trips, the White Sox underachieved in 2022.

Part of the problem has been player health, but the other part has been player performance.

That includes getting the most out of players like Yoán Moncada.

In 2022, Moncada had about the worst season of his career besides his eight big league appearances in 2016.

Removing those eight games in 2016, Moncada posted career lows in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS.

"He's got to be himself and he's got to understand that there's a pace that he has to play this game with," Grifol told Chuck Garfien on the White Sox Talk podcast. "It's been a great two and a half weeks with Moncada. I think he's hungry."

That means recapturing what worked in the 2019 season, which even got his name on the final tab of MVP votes (tied for 21st in voting).

In 2019, Moncada batted .315, slugged .548 and posted a .915 OBP. All career-highs. His .367 OBP is the second-highest of his career. He also hit 25 home runs and 799 RBIs, both career-highs as well.

"I think he understands what he did in '19 was special," Grifol said. "I think he knows that he can certainly do it again.

"How are we going to do it again? What needs to happen for him to be that type of player? We're in the process of having those conversations and I'm really, really happy with the work that he's put in early, during and after practice.

"Which that shows me that he's here to do something special."

The White Sox could certainly use it as they try to reach the postseason in 2023.

By all accounts 2022 was a disappointing season, as the White Sox string of two consecutive postseason trips came to an end.

The team failed to reach their potential but were also plagued with injuries. Moncada only played in 104 games last year, so aside from recapturing that 2019 magic the Sox need to keep him out on the field.

Moncada will be representing Cuba in the World Baseball Classic, taking him out of White Sox spring training.

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