Mike “Moose” Moustakas broke the KC Royals’ 26-year Derby drought in 2017.
After Danny Tartabull’s 1991 appearance, it took the KC Royals 26 years to get another Home Run Derby participant when Mike Moustakas made the Derby in 2017.
Moustakas is a familiar and beloved name as a more recent KC player and key member of the 2015 World Series championship team. Before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers midway through the 2018 campaign, “Moose” hit 139 home runs with the Royals.
The 2017 season was Moose’s peak home run year—he’d reached 25 homers by the All-Star Break and participated in the Derby; more notably, he also broke Kansas City’s long-standing (32 years) single-season home run record. He clubbed 38 homers to break Steve Balboni’s previous mark of 36 before Jorge Soler shattered the record a couple of years later, crushing 48 in 2019.
Though Moose slammed 10 home runs in the first round of the 2017 Derby, it wasn’t enough to move on—Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins beat him out with 11.
Still, Moose’s power hitting gave KC Royals fans plenty to cheer about when they saw him participate in the Derby that season, and it’s expected Salvador Perez will receive a similar reception when he becomes the fourth Royal to hit in the Derby.
Although Mike Moustakas out-performed the other KC Royals who’ve made the Home Run Derby, Salvador Perez could take his crown away in this year’s Derby. It’s scheduled for July 12.