In one of the most anticipated roster moves of the 2011 season, the Kansas City Royals have promoted third base prospect Mike Moustakas from Triple-A. He is expected to make his major league debut Friday night at Anaheim.
Moustakas ranked as the No. 9 prospect according to Baseball America prior to the 2011 season, one spot behind teammate Eric Hosmer, and several spots ahead of productive rookies Michael Pineda (16), Freddie Freeman (17), Zach Britton (28), Danny Espinosa (66) and Craig Kimbrel (86).
After the Royals selected him No. 2 overall in the 2007 draft, Moustakas led the low Class A Midwest League with 22 HRs in his first full season, while posting a .272/.337/.468 slash. He followed that up with a disappointing 2009 season at high Class A where he hit .250/.297/.421 with 50 extra-base hits (16 HRs) and 86 RBI in 530 plate appearances.
Moustakas improved his plate approach in 2010, according to Baseball America:
“He started laying off pitches that he couldn’t do much damage to, leading to more favorable counts and more opportunities to unleash his plus-plus power.”
Let me repeat that: plus-plus power.
He bounced back in a big way in 2010, posting a .322/.369/.630 slash between Double-A and Triple-A with an eye-popping 77 extra-base hits, 124 RBI, and tied for the minor league lead in home runs with 36.
Moustakas has come back down to earth a bit this season, posting a still respectable 10 HRs, 44 RBI and a .287/.347/.498 slash in 55 games with Omaha.
The 22-year-old left-handed batter has excellent bat speed and power to all fields. He doesn’t walk much, but he has an extraordinary ability to make contact. His limited range and poor footwork will likely land him in the outfield someday, but for now, his fantasy value is significant in all leagues thanks to his power bat at third base.
Considering the injuries to David Wright, Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman, Pablo Sandoval, and the general suckiness of most other third baseman, “Moose” is a must-add in all leagues. He’s capable of posting double digit dingers for the rest of the season with a solid average, and is expected to be a middle-of-the-order stalwart in the Royals lineup for years to come.
Image courtesy of: jajohnson917 via Flickr
Closer’s Corner, Week 10: Soria, Bailey, Guerra, Rauch & More
Tags: Mike Moustakas