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White Sox sign left-handed pitcher Luis Moncada to minor league deal

by Joe Binder

Although no relation to the team’s current third baseman, the White Sox are adding another Moncada to the mix.

Left-handed pitcher Luis Moncada has agreed to terms with the organization on a minor league contract, according to MiLB.com’s transaction tracker. The deal became official on January 21st, and was followed by an assignment to High-A Winston-Salem later that day.

Moncada, 23, began his career upon signing with the Tampa Bay Rays as an international free agent on March 27, 2015. The Venezuelan native has since worked his way up the club’s system, spending 2021 with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs. While there, Moncada started 10 of the 18 games he appeared in, going 8-1 with a 2.79 ERA (21 ER/67.2 IP), 66 strikeouts, 4.15 FIP, and 1.108 WHIP. He elected to hit the open market following the season, and became a free agent on November 7, 2021.

Most recently, Moncada has made several appearances with the Aguilas del Zulia in the Venezuelan Winter League. Through eight outings/three starts, he’s the unfortunate owner of a 6.75 ERA (9 ER/12.0 IP), 0.78 K/BB rate, and 1.833 WHIP. Though an extremely small sample size, his seven strikeouts to nine walks gives a little glimpse into the command issues he occasionally runs into.

While other recent info on the newest free agent signing is rather hard to come by, we do have the below 2019 scouting report from 2080 Baseball’s Adam McInturff to fall back on.

Moncada signed with the Rays from Venezuela in 2015. He made his stateside debut in the Appy League two years later, repeating the level last season as a 20-year-old. I got a looks at Moncada, now 21, both last fall during Instructional League and again this spring on the backfields.

A slender 6-foot-1, Moncada has room to add strength but will never be overly physical. He works from a slow-paced semi-windup, finishing with some noise in the front of his delivery that projects to quiet down a bit as he fills out. Moncada’s long, full arm-circle leads into a very loose high three-quarters slot, hinting there’s a tick more velocity left to gain. The fastball sat 88-to-91 mph in this look, down from the flashes of 93-94 I saw from Moncada in the fall. He generates good downhill plane for his height when working low in the zone, showing late run on the heater that moved off barrels. Moncada’s best off-speed is a low-80s curve with shapely down action at best. It gets loose and sweepy at times, but flashes enough to foresee a big league breaking ball in the tank. His changeup remained raw, an infrequent wrinkle in the 82-to-85 mph range with minimal movement or ability to land for a strike.

Moncada is more lottery ticket than surefire prospect, but his overall projection and two-pitch mix are interesting. He’s less physically developed than most pitching prospects his age, so the profile has variability and could change shape over the next few seasons. He’s a longshot back-rotation starter or swingman, ticketed for the Midwest League to begin 2019.

We’ll be keeping tabs on the left-hander’s progress throughout the upcoming season.

For more updates, be sure to follow us on social media @SoxOn35th.

Featured Photo: MiLB/Twitter

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Steve Yost

I hope Luis likes twinkies a lot less than Yoan!

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