Mike Moustakas is absolutely raking right now for the Kansas City Royals, and as hypocritical as it sounds, I think it really means something. I know I just got finished explaining that fans in KC should curb their optimism about Moustakas this year based on his spring stats, but wow. Just look at ‘em. Wow.
Before factoring in yesterday’s game, Moose was hitting exactly .500 in 28 at-bats. He’s already belted four home runs and recorded 14 RBI in as many hits after just 12 games of Cactus League ball. His slugging percentage was sitting at an eye-catching 1.036 and his OPS was 1.595. It’s a ridiculous start to the year, but perhaps there is good reason for it.
One could argue that Moustakas is feeling so well right now because of his time in Venezuelan Winter League ball. Maybe putting in the extra time this winter is what has him so red-hot, but he isn’t the only player coming into the spring after an offseason that included some live play. Many players, especially MLB players, make sure to stay as finely tuned as possible by playing offseason ball in areas with warmer climates.
So, while it may be far from unusual now for quality big-leaguers to benefit from extra live ball in the offseason, it seems the Royals took to it especially well this year. Salvador Perez, who joined Moustakas in Venezuela this offseason, actually rivals Moustakas’ constant offensive success right now. Perez is batting .400 and ranking second on the team behind only Moose in slugging percentage and RBI.