Hoping for the Mike Moustakas Breakout


Apr 17, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) drives in a run with a single during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, one swing is all it takes to break a hitter out of a slump and to instill confidence. For Mike Moustakas, that swing may have happened Wednesday night.

Brought on as a pinch hitter for Danny Valencia in the eighth inning, Moustaks homered in the top of the eleventh for the game winning hit. Since that point, Moustakas has gotten a hit in three of the past four games, including his second home run last night.

Could this be the beginning of the Royals getting the Mike Moustakas they envisioned when he was a top power prospect? For the second consecutive year during Spring Training, Moustakas hammered the ball around the Cactus League, yet started off the season slowly. However, unlike last season, it appeared as though Moustakas was making progress. Even though the results were not there, he was at least seeing pitches and drawing walks. The biggest problem appeared that Moustakas was too focused on trying to hit the ball to the opposite field.

After that home run, Moustakas appears to be a different player. While it is an extremely small sample size, Moustakas seems a lot more confident, swinging at pitches in his zone instead of seemingly hoping for a walk or fouling pitches away to the opposite field. He has been driving the ball recently, and the results have started to appear.

As the quote says, success begets success. Sometimes, all it takes is for one moment, one swing of the bat, to completely change a player’s season. With that first home run on Wednesday, it seemed as though a weight was lifted from Moustakas’ shoulders. Maybe, just maybe, this is the beginning of Moustakas being that power bat that the Royals have been seeking.

Four games are a small sample size. However, progress needs to begin somewhere. There needs to be that moment that brings all that hard work together. While it is possible that this is just an aberration, Thursday may have been that moment for Mike Moustakas.