Mike Moustakas was supposed to be the man at third base for the Royals. He was going to be the player that would solidify the hot corner for the foreseeable future, teaming up with Eric Hosmer to provide the Royals with a powerful middle of the lineup. While Hosmer began to show signs that he could end up as the type of hitter that the Royals envisioned, Moustakas has not. It has gotten to the point where they acquired Danny Valencia, theoretically to platoon with Moustakas and to push him into becoming that player they want him to be.
Even in doing that, there is still the feeling that Moustakas just may never pan out. Once again, Royals fans turn have turned their eyes towards the farm system, where it just so happens that two of the Royals top prospects happen to be third basemen. If Moustakas continues to falter, then Cheslor Cuthbert or Hunter Dozier may be ready to take over third in the next couple of years.
Despite Cuthbert being closer to the majors, having spent half of last season at AA, it seems as though Dozier is the player that is expected to wrest the position away from Moustakas. The eighth pick overall last year, Dozier is actually a year older than Cuthbert, yet may still reach the majors at roughly the same time. While they have taken their time moving Cuthbert along, Dozier appears to be on the fast track.
It is certainly easy to see why. During his half season of minor league ball, Hunter Dozier produced a solid .308/.397/.495 batting line with seven home runs across two levels. Even more impressive was his batting eye, as Dozier walked 38 times against 37 strikeouts. When he did hit the ball, he typically hit it hard, as evidenced by his 23.4% line drive rate last season. Although Doxier was a bit old for the levels he was at last year, his advanced approach at the plate is likely to serve him well regardless of the level he is playing at.
Defensively, the former college shortstop transitioned to third base with little issue. Despite a rough start, Dozier turned into a solid third baseman, making only one error in his final thirteen games in the field. As he gets more comfortable at the hot corner, his ability to move well and his instincts could turn him into an excellent defensive third baseman going forward.
Hunter Dozier may never be a true power hitting third baseman, but he could still end up being the Royals third baseman of the future. If Mike Moustakas does not take that step forward this year, that future could be sooner than expected.