Yoan Moncada vs. Javier Báez

February 13, 2020

Following an underwhelming 2018 campaign from Yoan Moncada, fans of Major League Baseball began floating the prospect of the former MLB Pipeline No. 1 overall prospect failing to realize his lofty potential.

While it may be difficult to remember now, “Bustcada,” a label mockingly bestowed upon Moncada, just concluded a disastrous season that saw him strikeout a league-leading 217 times while hitting for a meager .235 batting average. Considering that Moncada served as the centerpiece of the Chris Sale trade that initiated the White Sox’ long-awaited rebuild, fans were as eager to turn on Moncada as they were to initially embrace him.

Meanwhile, Javier Báez emerged as a frontrunner for the National League’s Most Valuable Player award, narrowly losing to the Brewers’ Christian Yelich. Báez, who in 2018 hit .290 with 34 home runs and 110 RBIs, penetrated the upper tier of MLB players with elite defense, deceptive power and timely hitting

Simply put, a Báez versus Moncada debate wasn’t supposed to happen, at least not so soon.

Fast forward to 2020 and Moncada’s emergence as a legitimate offensive threat coincided with a slight stagnation from Báez, causing Chicago baseball fans to commence a heated debate over whether or not Moncada outperformed Báez from an offensive standpoint. Both sides harbor obvious biases, so let’s look at the numbers for a definitive decision.




Batting Average (BA)



Home Runs






Runs Scored



On-Base Percentage (OBP)



Slugging Percentage (SLG)



On-Base + Slugging (OPS)







Outside of strikeouts, Báez outpaced Moncada in three aggregate categories. Though Báez did have 20 more plate appearances than Moncada, it would have taken a torrid offensive streak for Moncada to eclipse Báez in either home runs, runs scored or RBIs. Nevertheless, RBIs and runs scored are partially a team statistic, predicated on a teammate’s ability on base ahead of a player and who is able to drive said player in.

On the other hand, when it comes to percentages, Moncada earned a clean sweep. The Sox’ third baseman outpaced Báez by 34 points in BA, 51 points in OBP, 17 points in SLG and 68 points in OPS.

Determining who had the better season depends on which statistics you value most. Traditionalists tend to gravitate toward aggregate statistics. However, it’s hard to objectively state that a four home run, six RBI and 18 runs scored advantage for Báez offsets Moncada’s substantial leads in batting average, OBP and OPS.

So yes, for the 2019 season, Moncada outperformed Báez.

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    FREDDIE DowdenMar 2, 2020 at 10:54 am

    I take them both, Moncada is going to be the better of the 2 I believe, but not by much! Baez is Incredible to watch play, just love the I just love playing baseball attitude! Moncada seems to be lightening up a bit more which I think is the reason we saw such a jump last year! Like I said either could play for my team! I told my Cub buddy Baez would be the best of all the young guys they have he sure looks to be! Chicago Baseball should be exciting for years to come!