Last year, the Kansas City Royals finally got the player they expected when Mike Moustakas was one of the top prospects in baseball. After years of disappointment, and even being banished to Omaha for ten days, Moustakas broke through, hitting the ball with authority to all fields. At age 26, it seemed as though everything finally came together.
Pros: Moustakas was a solid defensive third baseman prior to his offensive breakout, posting above average numbers and making the plays he needed to. Last season, he became a complete player, hitting 22 home runs and using the entire ballpark to produce a .284/.348/.470 batting line. Coupled with Kendrys Morales, Moustakas helped give the Royals that much needed power threat in the lineup.
Cons: Can Moustakas build on his 2015 season, or was this an aberration? After all, he had steadily declined in the previous four years, posting an aggregate .236/.290/.379 batting line with 52 home runs in 1993 plate appearances. Moustakas may also be somewhat overrated defensively, as he is considered to have cost the Royals runs in three of his first four seasons, and, if 2012 is removed from the equation, has saved the Royals exactly one run in his career.
Verdict: Of all the players that the Royals could extend, Moustakas may hold the biggest risk. While he did sign a two year extension this offseason to buy out his arbitration years, that is a lot more palatable than a longer term extension should Moustakas regress. In this case, the Royals should look to see either the same performance, or an improvement, before thinking about signing Moustakas beyond 2017.
Next: The defensive wizard