At the start of the season, the only things colder than Mike Moustakas‘s bat were Antarctica and possibly some polar bears. He had gone without a hit over his first six games, and did not have an extra base hit until April 11th. It seemed to be a matter of when, not if, Moustakas would find himself forced into a platoon situation at best.
Then, it seemed as though with one swing of the bat, something clicked for Moustakas. After hitting the game winning home run against the Houston Astros a week ago yesterday, Moustakas seemingly figured out how to drive the ball. On a team where no one else has more than one home run, Moustakas has hit four in the past week.
Even though the hits have not been coming in bunches, the recent power surge is an encouraging sign for Mike Moustakas. Although he only has seven hits in his past eight games, Moustakas has a hit in six of those contests, with five of those hits going for extra bases. In fact, those five extra base hits would be good enough for the fifth highest total on the Royals all season. Not bad for a week’s production.
A few days ago, we were all hoping that his game winning home run would be the start of a breakout. The new batting stance had promise, as Moustakas was taking more pitches and drawing walks. Now, he is driving the ball, and while Moustakas is not hitting to the opposite field consistently, there is not a defensive shift in existence that can defend against the home run. As long as Moustakas is hitting the ball over the fence, the opposition can play all eight defenders on the right side for what it would matter.
No, Mike Moustakas is not going to hit four home runs every week. He is still going to have his struggles during the season, as any other player does. It is still highly improbable that Moustakas is ever going to be a .280 hitter at the major league level. However, if he can actually hit thirty or more home runs in a season, while playing solid defense, would a .240 batting average be enough? It may well be.
The Royals expected Mike Moustakas to be an impact power bat in the middle of their lineup. It may have taken longer than they hoped, but Moustakas is starting to show signs that he may be developing into that player.