Analyzing 5 Kansas City Royals due for progression or regression in 2018

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 21: Whit Merrifield
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 21: Whit Merrifield /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – MAY 13: Brandon Moss
KANSAS CITY, MO – MAY 13: Brandon Moss /

Brandon Moss

Last winter, Brandon Moss was signed to be the designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals. He promptly had one of the weirder seasons I’ve seen. Moss certainly wasn’t what Royals fans had hoped he’d be. He only hit 22 home runs all season. Many of those came in spurts, leaving dry spells where he’d be completely worthless for months (June) at a time.

Moss posted career-lows in batting average, on-base percentage, WAR and strikeout percentage. He pretty much had his worst year since his first full season with Pittsburgh back in 2009. Even in the juiced-ball era, Moss, much like Gordon, struggled to hit home runs.

The good news is that I don’t expect Moss to be that bad in 2018. There’s really no way he can be, right? I mean … I really hope not.

Here’s the good news:

  • Moss’ walk rate was actually higher in 2017 than it was in 2016, which theoretically means he’s still seeing the ball OK.
  • His ISO was .221, which means he’s still driving the ball just fine, so long as he makes contact.
  • In the juiced-ball era, hitting the ball with all your might becomes less important. If Moss can cut down on his swing just a tad and make some more contact, he should return to hitting 25-plus home runs.
  • Moss’ fly ball percentage in 2017 was among the lowest of his career. It means that if he can just elevate the ball a tad more often in 2018, he should be able to propel a few more of those juiced balls out of the yard.

Something tells me that Brandon Moss is going to have a very respectable bounce-back season in 2018. The Kansas City Royals need him to. If Moss can return to form in 2018 and hit 19-20 home runs by the trade deadline, he may net a nice little return in a trade next July.