Collins, Moncada make Sox debuts in Cactus opener

Collins, Moncada make Sox debuts in Cactus opener

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Zack Collins and Yoan Moncada have played at Camelback Ranch before, as recently as this past November during the Arizona Fall League season.

But Saturday's appearance in the White Sox Cactus League opener, a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers, held a special meaning for this pair of top prospects.

"To be able to go out there on the first day was an honor to me," Collins said. "A little jittery, but very excited to play. It was fun."

Both Collins and Moncada entered the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Collins, the club's No. 6 prospect per, grounded out to first during his first at-bat. In the ninth inning, against southpaw Edward Paredes, the left-handed-hitting Collins worked the count to 3-1 before dropping a single into right-center.

Collins on learning in ST

"He had good stuff," Collins said. "Just missed his spot a couple times, got behind in the count and I was fortunate to bloop one in there. It felt good to get that first hit."

Moncada, the No. 2 overall prospect in the Majors, grounded out to second in his first at-bat, and then took a called third strike from Paredes in the ninth. Collins and Moncada hit consecutively after entering the game.

Moncada talks about his spring

It's just one game, but judging by the social media reaction on Saturday to this duo's appearance, fans are ready to take in anything they can from this young core.

"Everyone is just working hard to get as good as they can," Collins said. "Whatever happens, happens in the end, whether it's going to [Class A] or the big leagues -- it doesn't matter. We're just trying to get as good as we can, and play away.

"I'm the new guy. It's my first year, and the first game played and I get to play. It's definitely an honor."

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.