Mike Moustakas Is Still Broken
By Brian Henry
Since coming back to the majors on June 1st, Mike Moustakas has been better, though is would have been very hard for him to be much worse than he had been. I was hoping that he would start trending upward in a sustainable way to help the Royals continue their winning ways, and even last year’s second half would be playable. His numbers in the in June are still below average at .214/.279/.429 and the following graph tells me that he is likely to be worse than that going forward.
Moose cannot hit fastballs to the point where I would pretty much throw him nothing else if I were the opposing team. The graph from baseballsavant.com shows the velocities of the 12 hits Mike has collected since returning to the big league club. Only 1 hit came on a pitch of 90 MPH or greater (it was a double). He has three hits off of fastballs out of the 12 and two of those were below 90 MPH. Basically, if you can throw a mediocre fastball Moustakas should be a very easy out.
Just for reference I looked at a few other Royals over the same time period. Billy Butler has been hitting very well of late and has collected 14 hits on pitches above 90 MPH in June. Eric Hosmer has 7 such hits, and Jarrod Dyson also has 7 hits on 90+ velocity in June. Moose can’t keep up with Jarrod Dyson. As soon as Danny Valencia is back from his rehab assignement, where in 2 games he has collected 3 hits including a HR, Moustakas needs to head back to Omaha.
I honestly don’t know how a guy like Moose becomes a bad ball hitter, but he is. His 7 home runs on the year have been on 2 changeups, 2 sliders, 2 sinkers, and 1 four seam fastball. All of them below 90 MPH. If you throw it up over the plate without a lot of velocity Moustakas is dangerous. Otherwise he is pretty much hopeless. Hunter Dozier is starting to look like he could be here by next year, but it means something needs to be done for this year’s team unless they are confident in Valencia. We’re in 1st place and I want to stay there, and I don’t think Mike Moustakas is going to help in doing that.