June 12, 2011
Transaction Analysis Blog
Mike Moustakas Arrives
Eric Hosmer gave the Royals arguably the most exciting rookie slugger in the game already, but with Anthony Rizzo threatening some of the market share, Moustakas arrived in order to secure the front for good. Moustakas, like Rizzo, homered in his first weekend in the majors, with the young third baseman’s first homer coming off Joel Pineiro in a losing effort. You can view the shot here.
Moustakas arrives just before topping 500 plate appearances in Triple-A. During his time in Omaha, he hit .290/.331/.531, slamming 25 home runs while being young for the league, at ages 21 and 22. That home run pace is roughly one every 19.4 plate appearances, or 31 per 600 plate appearances—thus supporting Kevin Goldstein’s assertion that Moustakas could contend for the home run title in a perfect world, while also naming him the Royals top prospect. Worth noting is Moustakas’ ability to avoid the strikeout. Only once in his minor league career did he fan in more than 20 percent of his at-bats, and that came back in rookie ball.
With a player like Moustakas, it’s obviously not just about the numbers. He has the tools to become a special power hitter. Goldstein notes Moustakas’ excellent bat speed, strength, and wrists, while also making note of the lengthy time his barrel spends in the zone. Defensively, Moustakas has a strong arm, but his range is limited by otherwise questionable athleticism. Distant from Moustakas’ playing qualities, he also appears to be a decent enough human, per Minda Haas.
As difficult as it is to project a rookie’s performance, PECOTA has Moustakas at .263/.295/.461. I think you can rest assured he is going to provide some exciting moments too.