Mar 6, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) tries to bare hand a ground ball in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Moustakas and the Glimmer of Hope

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

When trying to determine data, people are warned not to pay attention to small sample sizes. Likewise, when trying to determine how a player will perform during the regular season, it is best not to pay attention to the numbers put together in Spring Training. Trying to determine anything from a small sample size in Spring Training? That would seemingly be a rather futile exercise.

At this point, however, that is what we have to go on. Looking over those Spring Training statistics, there are several players that stand out. Lorenzo Cain is hitting .400 thus far. Carlos Peguero has taken three walks(!!) in 15 at bats. Pedro Ciriaco is hitting .429 with three doubles and a home run as he tries to force his way onto the Royals roster. Yet, of all those performances, perhaps the most impressive one thus far is how Mike Moustakas is playing in Surprise.

Thus far in Spring Training, Moustakas has posted a .435/.536/.913 batting line with three home runs. He has walked four times with only four strikeouts. After working on his swing and coming into Spring Training in better shape, Moustakas is driving the ball with authority. So far, at least according to these statistics, that adjustment is working.

Yet, we have seen this before. Mike Moustakas hit well in Spring Training last year, producing a .394/.429/.718 batting line with five home runs in Spring Training. Yet, there are subtle differences. Moustakas only walked five times in his 77 plate appearances last year while striking out 16 times. He is almost to that walk total already. Although the amount of pitches per at bat are about the same as they were last year, Moustakas has been more patient when necessary while jumping on pitches he can drive.

We can hope that this is the year that the success from Spring Training finally carries over to the regular season. We can hope that, with his new approach and improved swing, that Moustakas will finally become the player that we all hoped that he would be. But until Moustakas proves that he can actually perform at that level in the regular season, that is all we have – hope.

Mike Moustakas is hammering the ball during Spring Training once again. And once again, all we can do is hope that this is the year that he actually carries that over to the regular season.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals Mike Moustakas

  • jimfetterolf

    What we watch is approach, stance, and swing. Everything I’m hearing is that he has made the adjustments that the rest of us have been suggesting the last few years. After last season the refrain was get in shape and listen to the coaches. This isn’t brain surgery.

    • Dave Hill

      It isn’t, but sometimes the most obvious things are the ones that take the longest to fix. Thus far, that message seems to have gotten through. I hope that, when he goes through a rough stretch like all players do, he does not abandon these changes.

      • jimfetterolf

        David Lesky of PTP is in Surprise and has noted that Moose has shortened his swing. That’s a good sign.

        As for rough stretch, Valencia is available for lefties and Colon is a phone call away. That’s depth we haven’t had, a safety net.

        • Dave Hill

          That safety net may actually be a big part of why Moustakas is playing better as well. Strangely, there may be *less* pressure on him now, and he no longer feels that he has to be ‘the guy.’ That depth could pay off in ways beyond what we originally thought.

    • Eric Akers

      Moose is currently 4 of 7 with 2 HRs against LHP. Apparently he did well against LHP in spring last year as well, but it is still nice to see. Hopefully it doesn’t stop as soon as the season starts.


    Let’s just hope Moose keeps facing AAA pitching all year and continues to have grapefruits thrown over the plate. We can definitely expect an all star appearance from him in that case.

    • Matthew.Martin