3 Things I Learned at Chicago White Sox Camp: Prospects, Bunting, More

From Yoan Moncada bunting to news on two top prospects, here is the latest on the Chicago White Sox from spring training.

Luis Robert Jr and Yoan Moncada
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 24: Luis Robert #88 and Yoan Moncada #10 of the Chicago White Sox celebrate at home plate after Jose Abreu #79 hit them in on a three run home run in the first inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 24, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Yoán Moncada may be known for his power, but don’t be surprised if the Chicago White Sox slugger isn’t looking to put down a few bunts this season as well.

Moncada has already shown his bunting ability in spring training, putting down a well-executed bunt single against the San Diego Padres on March 9. When the opportunity arises, it could be a sign of things to come this season for Moncada.

“It’s one of the tricks I have up my sleeve,” Moncada said on Monday. “I know I haven’t shown that that much, but now is the time to start showing that because I feel comfortable.”

And why is now the time to start showing off his bunting skills?

Ad – content continues below

“Different reasons,” he smiled.

Moncada has three career bunt singles during regular season play. While those numbers certainly don’t stack up to the 93 homers or 154 doubles he has recorded during his eight-year career, White Sox manager Pedro Grifol has made it clear that bunting is a part of Moncada’s game.

With Moncada slotted into the two-hole in the White Sox lineup this season, it will be interesting to see just how much the bunt comes into play on Chicago’s South Side.

Noah Schultz talks health, next steps on mound

Keeping Schultz, Chicago’s top pitching prospect, healthy and on track to start 2024 on the mound has been a focus of the spring. The 20-year-old left-hander is ranked as MLB.com’s 50th overall prospect and second on the White Sox overall behind Colson Montgomery.

The issue is that Schultz made just 10 starts last season at Low-A Kannapolis. However, in those 10 starts, Schultz gave the White Sox plenty of hope for the future, posting a 1.33 ERA as opponents hit just .175 against him in 27.0 overall innings.

That low number of innings comes from Schultz battling a flexor strain and shoulder impingement. However, the dawning of a new season has given the southpaw a new focus on wellness, including cooking more.

Ad – content continues below

“I’m definitely taking care of my body more. I’ve gotten into cooking more,” Schultz said. “Just all around becoming better so I can stay out on the field this year.”

Part of that cooking routine includes steak with rice, potatoes or pasta, he said. It’s all about a plan for him to take on more calories that will be “enough to stay healthy and recover,” Schultz said.

Schultz is expected to take the mound again this weekend as he takes the next step toward what he hopes will be a strong 2024 campaign.

“Everything feels good,” Schultz said. “I feel strong and ready for the season.”

Look for more from Schultz in an article I’ll be co-authoring with my colleague Elijah Evans later this week.

Pedro Grifol talks Colson Montgomery next steps

On Monday, the White Sox announced that Montgomery has been reassigned to minor league camp. While the move may keep Montgomery off the White Sox roster to open the season, Grifol said that Montgomery showed him and others in camp that he was “really close.”

Ad – content continues below

The 22-year-old first-round pick is “ultra-talented,” according to Grifol.

“He does a lot of things right on the field,” Grifol said.

“One of the things I told him is that he’s always on the clock. What I mean by that is people are always looking at you. You can’t take any plays off. You raised the bar. You raise or lower it, whether you want to or not. He has to be cognizant of that. He has to go out and not only execute but play the game the right way, run balls out and play to win because that bar is raised or lowered by players like him.”

“You have that responsibility on your shoulders, and you have to be aware of that.”

Read our interview with Montgomery from Arizona here.