Mike Moustakas, Kansas City’s No. 2 prospect entering the season and the No. 9 prospect overall according to Baseball America, will make his major league debut tonight when the Royals play in Los Angeles against the Angels.
To make room, the Royals optioned Mike Aviles to AAA Omaha.
Moustakas was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 MLB amateur draft, and despite showing power, the third baseman struggled in his first two minor league seasons, posting on-base percentages of .337 in low-A and .297 in high-A.
But last season Moustakas broke out , hitting .322 with 36 home runs and 124 RBI in his time between AA and AAA.
Still just 22, Moustakas got off to a slow start in AAA ball this season. But since May 1, Mous is hitting .321 with six home runs and 26 RBI. For the season, he is batting .287 with 10 homers and 44 RBI.
Moustakas will almost certainly be the every day third baseman, making Wilson Betemit a reserve. But what can we expect from Moustakas?
It’s doubtful that he’ll play as well early on as Hosmer, who is hitting .309 with five home runs and an .835 OPS since being called up on May 6. The reasons is Hosmer is more patient and has a more advanced approached.
Moustakas is a little bit of hacker, having never walked more than 43 times in any minor league season and has more than twice the amount of strikeouts as walks in his minor league career. Hosmer, meanwhile, had a 134/174 BB:K ratio.
Now, Moustakas’ power is unquestioned. He will likely hit for power right away. But asking for higher than a .260 average is pushing it. I believe his season will closely resemble the rookie season last year of Pittsburgh Pirates’ third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez struggled at first after getting called up last June, but finished last year with 16 home runs and a .256 average. That’s probably what the over/under for average and home runs with Moustakas should be set at.
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Written by Ryan Riordan