Mike Moustakas is a player with clear promise that hasn’t yet hit his stride in MLB. Unerring streakiness and low on-base percentages continue to frustrate the Kansas City Royals and their fans, but the team knows Moose has talent that hasn’t fully shown at the major league level yet.
Because of his inability to prove himself so far, KC sold off their best expendable player for a backup plan in Danny Valencia. Even though it would make that move irrelevant, all Royals fans would love a breakout season from Moose. So far, his production in the Winter League indicates that he could be more consistent in 2014.
In 14 games with Los Cardenales de Lara, Moose has a .281 batting average with 16 hits and 15 RBIs. Compare that to his 136 MLB starts in 2013 in which he recorded just 42 RBIs, and you can see why fans paying attention to his Winter League numbers are hopeful. In this admittedly small sample size, Moose has an OBP of .349 and a slugging percentage above .500, which is something he’s never done in three seasons with the Royals.
Although it isn’t the big leagues, the talent in Venezuelan Winter Ball is certainly nothing to scoff at. These numbers are solid, but they aren’t fantastic, and they still reek of the same flaws from previous years. Valencia was brought into town for the fear that Moustakas couldn’t hit left-handed pitching and so far, those fears are warranted. With Lara, Moose has a .323 average against right-handers and a .231 average against lefties.
If he can’t hit for a respectable average in the offseason, Valencia will take his spot in the lineup often once the regular season begins.