Moncada ignores hype, focuses on Sox roster

Moncada ignores hype, focuses on Sox roster

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Aaron Rowand had the chance to work against Yoan Moncada during his first foray as manager for the Glendale Desert Dogs as part of the 2016 Arizona Fall League.

So the opinion put forth by Rowand, the center fielder on the 2005 White Sox World Series champions and the organization's current Minor League outfielder/baserunning coordinator, should hold some weight.

"The kid is going to be a stud," said Rowand on Saturday at Camelback Ranch.

Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear

At this early point in Moncada's career, he isn't really worried about that stud baseball factor. The talented switch-hitter simply remains focused on trying to break camp with the team.

Saturday marked the first full-team workout, albeit a rain-soaked abbreviated one, with position players reporting. Moncada already has been in camp close to a week, preparing with the other early arrivals as he gets adjusted to his new organization.

MLB Tonight on Yoan Moncada

"I'm just trying to work hard every day and try to show the staff what I'm able to do," said Moncada through interpreter Billy Russo. "I just try to keep my focus on my work, my detailed work every day.

"Whatever happens is going to happen. I just can control what I can do. I'm just trying to get to know the culture here, the guys, the staff, the players, how they like to work. And so far, I've been good. Also, the change of the city and state, especially in Spring Training, I'm getting to know that a little bit better right now."

Moncada follows a specific daily plan within his work. For example, he explained that in the cages, he tries to hit the ball to the opposite field from both sides. When he's hitting on the field, he tries to shoot the ball all over.

But this first Spring Training meeting with the media didn't focus solely on Moncada's on-field ability. Yolmer Sanchez, who enjoys the game about as much as anyone on the White Sox roster, interrupted the interview to ask for Moncada's favorite perfume. For those interested, Moncada likes the sweet-smelling perfumes the best.

There also were a handful of questions about Moncada's 2-year-old son,Robinson, whose T-ball bat flip went viral on Friday. Moncada liked the name of Robinson for his son before he even knew about Robinson Cano, but admitted the Mariners' second baseman stands as one of his favorite players. 

As for who taught Robinson that bat flip, Moncada smiled when saying his son learned it on his own.

"He likes to swing," said Moncada of his son, who started playing baseball about six months ago. "He's incredible. I watched the video yesterday and that was unbelievable."

White Sox fans are hoping to see quite a few of those same pronounced flips from the 21-year-old Moncada in the coming months and years.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.