(CBS) On Monday, Triple-A Charlotte second baseman Yoan Moncada was named the International League Batter of the Week amid a continued tear at the plate.
Moncada batted .500 with two homers, four RBIs and eight runs in six games this past week, and he’s hitting .352 with six homers, 11 RBIs, 24 runs and a .427 on-base percentage in 27 games this season.
Of course, the logical question has followed: When are the White Sox going to call up Moncada? There are a handful of factors in play.
One line of thinking is that Moncada could be called up mid-May or shortly thereafter. That would delay Moncada’s service time clock enough to ensure the White Sox control him through 2023, as opposed to 2022 had he made the team’s Opening Day roster.
Past that date, there’s another important reason for delaying Moncada’s arrival to the big leagues as well — to avoid him achieving what’s called “Super Two” status.
Generally, players must have three full seasons of big league service before they’re eligible for arbitration, the process that allows them to make more than the league minimum salary. But a select class of players who rank in the top 22 percent of service time among those with between two and three years of experience are eligible to reach arbitration a year early. Generally, it takes around two years and then 130 to 140 days of service time in the third season to reach this threshold, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan explained on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on Monday. There’s no set Super Two date because it’s based on service time of all those called up throughout the season, and those numbers fluctuate.
Because the Red Sox called up Moncada last September, he already has about a month of service time. So if the White Sox were to call him up this May, it’s quite possible he could attain Super Two status.
That can cost a team millions of dollars down the line, as there’s essentially a compounding factor involved with the finances in the arbitration process, with it growing based off last year’s salary.
So there remains good reason for the White Sox — sitting at 15-15 and stressing that nothing this season will change the big-picture rebuild being the priority — to keep Moncada at Triple-A for an extra month or so.
“Yoan Moncada could be and probably should be the starting second baseman for the Chicago White Sox right now,” Passan told Spiegel and Parkins. “I think that’s a fairly obvious thing.
“The issue is what do they want to do with him contract-wise. Those 31 days he spent with the Boston Red Sox last year really put the White Sox in a bit of a bind. They are not going to lose a free-agent year by calling him up now, but what could happen if they called up now or even called him up in the middle of June is he would qualify, theoretically, as a Super-2 (player).
“Because the White Sox are in that place where they are trying to rebuild as opposed to win, it would not at all shock me to see them keep Moncada down until the end of June or so, at which point he’ll come up and be the starting second baseman.”
Listen to Passan’s full interview here as he also talks Cubs and other headlining MLB storylines.