Apr 13, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) at bat against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Moustakas is Following Alex Gordon’s Path

We all saw this coming. Despite having more chances than he actually deserved, Mike Moustakas continued to have a spot on the Kansas City Royals roster. It did not matter that he was hitting under Nori Aoki‘s body weight for the entirety of the 2014 season – Moustakas was going to remain with the Royals. So spake Ned Yost, who stated under no uncertain terms that he would not be sending Moustakas to Omaha.

However, after watching Danny Valencia prove that there are such things as third basemen that can hit as members of the 2014 Royals, logic prevailed and Moustakas was finally been sent down. According to the Royals official Twitter account, Moustakas will be replaced on the roster by Jimmy Paredes on Friday.

Aside from the simple fact that such a demotion is probably over a year too late in the making, this could be the best thing to happen to Mike Moustakas. Now, in Omaha, Moustakas can work on rediscovering his swing and his ability without the pressure of the major leagues. He can focus on finding the power that, aside from that one glorious week in April, has seemingly deserted him. Moustakas can attempt to get back to the form that made him one of the top prospects in baseball during his minor league career, and someone who was expected to be a cornerstone for the future.

Such a demotion is not a death knell for Moustakas either. Alex Gordon struggled initially at the major league level, and was demoted to Omaha for 68 games in 2010. While Gordon did struggle upon his return that season, he became the Alex Gordon that we have grown accustomed to beginning the following year, garnering MVP votes and becoming a true force in the Royals lineup.

Perhaps such a turnaround is possible for Mike Moustakas as well. Still only 25 years of age, he is actually one year younger than Gordon was at the time of his demotion. Moustakas, despite entering his fourth year in the majors, is still a young player. Although this may not be the path that the Royals expected Moustakas’s career to take, he still has plenty of time to become the hitter that they envisioned.

Mike Moustakas’s quest to find his batting stroke will now find him in Omaha. Yet, much like Alex Gordon before him, this may be exactly what Moustakas needs to be the hitter the Royals believe he can become.

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    The chances that Moustakas, at age, 25 soon to be 26, develops into anything at all are very small and comparisons to Alex Gordon and his situation are absurd. Gordon had a freak hip injury that required surgery and that took time for him to recover from.

    Moose just stinks, pure, plain, and simple. He isn’t fighting injuries. He is fighting a lack of talent, despite any koolade that Dayton Moore and company are trying to get anyone to drink where he is concerned. The list of players that have “resurrected” their careers and gone on to be stars, cornerstones, whatever you want to call it, at his age, is very, very small, indeed.

    I would not be totally shocked if Moose never played another game in a Royals uniform, and, if he does, I don’t expect him to be any sort of manifestly different player than he is now. Players just don’t have epiphanies at this stage of their careers. And, Moose’s numbers have gotten worse with each successive season, not better. Why? Because word spreads like wildfire in the big leagues and everybody now knows how to get this guy out and he has shown zero ability to adjust. It’s no accident that he’s seeing all these infield shifts, now.

    Unless Moose completely and totally reinvents himself, something that isn’t happening in a month or whatever in AAA, his future as big league ballplayer is bleak, indeed. Worse, the guy has an attitude AND a fitness problem that don’t make resolving his problems any easier.

    • moretrouble

      Among that list is Babe Ruth, Harmon Killebrew. Alex Rodriquez, and Pete Rose.

      • Geogman

        Everyone of these guys you mention were well on their way by age 24. Here are some comparisons for you at age 24. Ruth-29 HR, .312 BA; Rodriguez-41 HR. .316 BA; Killebrew- 31 HR .276 BA: Rose- .312 BA. I think the Royals did a great disservice to Moustakas and to themselves by keeping him at the big league level as long as they did. They gave him no future margin for error. I wish him luck but the odds of Moustakas ever reaching any of the above numbers are pretty long.

    • Eric Akers

      Mike has 4.2 fWAR over the last two years with 1.1 last year. It wont take much improvement with the bat for him to be a productive player for the Royals. He works as hard as anybody, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in August/September time frame.

  • moretrouble

    Mike has always triggered a bit early … it’s his natural timing. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as a hitter can defend the strike zone. I like his swing mechanics; I like his talent level. He’s a fine 3base man, he’s got a rocket for an arm — and I think he’ll be back. Best of luck to you, Mike.

  • dremus

    I hope to see Moose this weekend in Omaha. I hope he comes down here, figures out the problem and rakes. I hope he goes up to the biggies again and produces at the level everyone forecast for him. I hope he is one of the main reasons the Royals get to the playoffs this year. I hope that others will jump on board and wish this guy well and not just keep throwing crap at him. Go get’em Moose.