Making the Grade: Ranking Third Basemen in the AL Central

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No. 5: Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals

Oct 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) reacts after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants in the 7th inning during game six of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

At just 26 years old, Mike Moustakas has already put together an interesting career for the Kansas City Royals. He has put together three consecutive impressive spring training seasons, resulting in three consecutive appearances on the preseason “breakout candidate” lists.

Again this season, Michael Clair from MLB.com has tabbed the California-native as one of his “one-time elite prospects set for [a] breaktout season in 2015.” 

This time, the argument could really carry some weight. In the Royals’ unimaginable run to the World Series last year, Moustakas enjoyed a transformative postseason. Though he hit just .231, the power-hitting lefty clubbed five home runs and showed off some fancy glove work at the hot corner.

In short, it was the type of postseason that could serve as a catalyst to jumpstart what was once a promising big league career.

After hitting .242 with 20 home runs in his first full season in the majors, Moustakas has hit .223/.279/.363 over the last two seasons, adding 27 home runs in what has amounted to the fourth-lowest OPS among qualified batters. He has cut down on the predictably high strikeout numbers of his first season, but balls in play have not amounted to any extra base hits. He posted a .220 BABIP in 2014, which was the worst in the MLB for any player with over 500 plate appearances.

Is “Moose” finally primed for a breakout season? Perhaps. And, if he does, he could quickly ascent up this list.

But don’t bet on it.

Next: No. 4

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