Mike Moustakas and what the Royals Should Expect

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Heading into the 2015 season, there is a bit of cautious optimism surrounding Mike Moustakas. Even though he has yet to put together his typically strong Spring Training, leading all of us to wonder if this is finally the year that Moustakas taps into the talent that made him a top prospect in the Kansas City Royals system from 2008 through 2011. At only 26 years old, there is theoretically time for Moustakas to turn into that player.

However, even with cautious optimism, one still needs to be realistic. As great as it would be to see Moustakas suddenly become a forty home run hitter and produce a .300/400/.550 batting line, that is highly unlikely. In fact, even expecting 25 home runs and a .250 batting average may be pushing the limits of belief.

So, what would be a realistic expectation for Mike Moustakas for the 2015 season? Well, according to the projections created by Steamer, Moustakas could actually put together what could be considered the best season of his career.

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Now, keep in mind that “best season” is relative to the production that Moustakas has put together over his career to this point. With that in mind, Steamer projects Moustakas to produce a .248/.305/.415 batting line with 17 home runs and 27 doubles. That batting line would give Moustakas his highest marks at any of the batting marks over a full season. The home run and double marks would be the second highest of his career.

For as much as Mike Moustakas has struggled at times during his time in the majors, that projection could actually be possible. In his 100 games after being recalled from Omaha, Moustakas posted a .235/.289/.377 batting line with eleven home runs and 14 doubles. With a bit more power, and a slightly better approach, Steamer’s projections could be attainable.

While we would all love to see Moustakas be the player that the Royals thought they had in the minor leagues, it is time to drastically adjust expectations, if they have not been already. While that projected batting line may be somewhat disappointing, at least compared to what was expected, it would not be that bad. Moustakas’s .720 OPS would have actually been above replacement level. Add in his relatively solid defense, and with that batting line, and Moustakas would finally be a valuable contributor for the Royals.

Mike Moustakas may never be the player that everyone hoped for, but if he can produce that batting line in 2015, that may be enough. We can all hope for more, but realistically, Steamer’s projections would be a nice start.

Next: The Kansas City Royals and the New Way to Reload

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