The Kansas City Royals have numerous players who are capable of being dubbed their Fantasy Baseball Minor League Player of the Year, but ultimately it is hard to give the honor to anyone but Mike Moustakas.

The third baseman split time between Double and Triple-A, posting the following amazing line:

478 At-Bats
.324 Batting Average (155 Hits)
36 Home Runs
123 RBI
94 Runs
2 Stolen Bases
.371 On-Base Percentage
.636 Slugging Percentage
.316 Batting Average on Balls in Play

The average was significantly better at Double-A (.347) than Triple-A (.297), but otherwise his production has been incredibly consistent all year long. However, his BABIP while there was a below average .278 (of course, he was significantly lucky during his time at Double-A).

He did a great job of putting the ball in play all year long. For the season he struck out just 66 times, a rate of 13.8 percent. Considering the power he hit with, that’s a tremendous mark and certainly helps to justify him hitting .300-plus.

While we all wish he would draw a few more walks (6.6 percent), we can’t get everything. That could come in time, as he is just 21 years old (he’ll turn 22 in a few days).

The metrics behind the power appear to be believable as well. For the year he boasts a fly ball rate of 46.6 percent, right around where he has been for his minor league career (45.9 percent). Given that type of fly-ball rate, coupled with the number of doubles he hit (41), there’s certainly reason to believe that the power potential is extremely realistic.

Prior to the season, Baseball America ranked him as the Royals’ fourth best prospect, saying the following:

“Moustakas has two well above-average tools in his raw power and arm. He has good hand-eye coordination and quick wrists to go with a mechanically sound swing, helping his power play in game situations. He has the bat speed to catch up to good fastballs. ”

His performance this season certainly backed up that scouting report.

The second overall selection in the 2007 draft has been moved throughout the Royals system slowly. It’s fair, considering the team’s history with rushing top prospects to the majors (i.e. Alex Gordon). However, he certainly has the potential to reach the major leagues in 2011.

Third base continues to be a shallow position for fantasy owners to fill, making Moustakas look that much more attractive. While the Royals may continue to move slowly with him, starting him at Triple-A in 2011, it would appear to only be a matter of time before they turn the third base job over to him.

Others considered:

  • Eric Hosmer (.338, 20 HR, 86 RBI, 87 R, 14 SB)—While he has been equally as impressive as Moustakas, he has only reached Double-A, and as of right now there would be questions as to where he is going to play. With Billy Butler and Kila Ka’aihue sharing 1B/DH duties, something would have to happen to open up playing time for him. Until that happens, he just can’t be given this award.
  • Will Myers (.315, 14 HR, 83 RBI, 70 R, 12 SB)—He’s potentially the best bat in the organization, though questions on if he will remain at catcher or move out from behind the plate hang over him. Also, he hasn’t advanced past Single-A and, at 20 years old, is at least another year or two away from making an impact.

Make sure to check out previous Fantasy Baseball Minor League Player of the Year Award articles:


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