Feb 24, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals infielder Mike Moustakas poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Moustakas is Ready to Break Out According to George Brett

Sep 5, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) connects for the game winning home run in the thirteenth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We have been waiting for Mike Moustakas to break out, to have that season that announces, clearly, for everyone to hear, that he has arrived. A season where he fulfills the promise he displayed in the minors, where he appeared to be a legitimate power bat and the potential heir to George Brett as the Royals cornerstone third baseman.

Thus far, aside from the 20 home runs that Moustakas hit in 2012, he has not yet fulfilled that promise. He slumped to a thoroughly disappointing .233/.287/.364 batting line with only 12 home runs last year. Moustakas became very pull conscious, trying to yank everything to right field. In fact, almost half of his hits last year went to right.

With his lack of development, and continued struggles against left handed pitching, it would be understandable if the Royals were starting to think that Mike Moustakas just would not become the player they envisioned. After all, they went out and acquired Danny Valencia, setting up the perfect platoon situation, since Valencia is at least useful against lefties. However, that is not the case, at least when it comes to Brett. In fact, not only does Brett believe in Moustakas, but he believes that Moose is set up for a breakout season, much like Eric Hosmer enjoyed last year.

“I think ‘Moose’ is going to have a year like ‘Hoz’ did last year — a breakout season,” said Brett.

There are certainly signs that Moustakas could get that type of season. He has come into camp in better shape, losing ten pounds from his playing weight last year. He worked with hitting coach Pedro Grifol in the Venezuelan Winter League, working on not just hitting the ball the other way, but driving it with authority. Thus far, the returns from Spring Training have been positive, with Brett gushing about his ability to hit the ball to left and left center.

“I watched him in batting practice yesterday and he hit about five home runs to left field. He was hitting line drives to left-center that looked like they were coming off a right-handed hitter’s bat.”

Until the games begin to count, and until Mike Moustakas shows that he can actually bring that adjustment to a real game, it may be fair to question whether or not that belief is justified. However, George Brett certainly believes that Moustakas is ready to turn the corner. If nothing else, Brett knows a thing or two about hitting.

Perhaps 2014 is the year that Mike Moustakas puts it all together. If so, George Brett saw it coming first.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals Mike Moustakas

  • cardsfanatik

    I say if 2014 isn’t the year, then the “year” will never come, imo. This will be his 4th year in the Major Leagues. Its time to do it, or leave. He has 37 HR’s in 1493 PA’s. Nothing about that screams power hitter to me. Now, not to say he CANT be that guy. But he is going to HAVE to hit the ball the other way, period. All of the best hitters in history were successful hitting the ball the other way. Its simple math, if 90% of all of your hits only use 50% of the field, your not going to be tremendously successful, your just limiting your potential, and making yourself wayyy easier to defend against, AND pitch to. I hope he does break out, but if he doesn’t, I think the Royal’s need to bring up a Cuthbert, or a Dozier next year, or find a suitable replacement, but it will be time to move on from Mike Moustakas if he doesn’t perform this year. And hopefully, they won’t settle for an entire year this year, like his year last year, before they do something. I am all for affording someone every opportunity, but maybe those AB’s need to come at Omaha if he sucks it up again this year.

    • Dave Hill

      I’m with you on that. This HAS to be the year for Moustakas to put everything together. Otherwise, I don’t think there is a chance he starts in 2015, unless Cuthbert and Dozier completely fall apart this year. Otherwise, it would be time to move on.

  • unclejesse40

    I never know where to put my random thoughts of the day so I simply just find the most recent article. But anyway, Is Noel Arguelles still a Royal? I was wondering if because he has lost his velocity if it would be good for a guy like that to be made to follow Bruce Chen around for a year and learn to pitch the way he does. the point is what good is a guy like Arguelles if he continues to throw like a hard throwing lefty if he has lost his arm power? Make him a young version of Chen, a lefty that uses different arm angles and deception to get guys out. Maybe he will never be worth the contract we gave him but something is better than nothing, which is what he appears to be worth now. Again, sorry for the random placement of my weird thought of the day!

    • Dave Hill

      He is. He cleared waivers and was outrighted to Omaha. At least, that was the last I saw.

      • alexfielder

        But at least he’s not taking up a spot on the 40-man roster….

  • jessanders

    I think if Moose has a breakout year, then this season could be a lot of fun. If our #7 hitter can turn into a legit power hitter (I don’t care much about average, let him hit .260 for all I care, so long as he’s putting up a 25+ HR season), then suddenly our lineup is ridiculously deep. That would give Sal some protection, meaning he’d be more likely to see fastballs (especially against RH pitchers), which he crushes.

    If Moose can figure it out, I really don’t care what Escobar does at the plate, period.

  • moretrouble

    It’s Spring Training — everyone gonna have a breakout year.