When the Kansas City Royals selected Chatsworth High star Mike Moustakas in the first round of the ’07 amateur draft, they knew that they were getting a special player in return.

Kansas City GM Dayton Moore raved about the kid’s talent, saying that he will be a key part of the Royals’ future.

After two average to above-average seasons in the minors, many were beginning to question Moore’s past comments about the young slugger.

Then, the 2010 baseball season came and it quickly became clear that it was going to be Moustakas’ year.

The “Moose” got off to a blistering start, forcing a promotion to Triple-A Omaha mid-season after hitting .347 with 21 homers and 76 RBI in just 66 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

After he got to Omaha, he didn’t stop there. Moustakas batted .293 with 15 homers and 48 runs driven in while playing in just 62 games to finish out the season.

This season, Moustakas was invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee, and he hit .227 with a homer and six RBI in limited at-bats.

The team recently sent him down to Omaha, and he will begin the season there so he can work more on the defensive part of his game.

Many predict that he will be up by mid-season, and that is when the AL Rookie of the Year award will come into play.

He has a great shot to win this award for a multitude of reasons.

First, he has enormous power and has the ability to hit 30 homers and drive in 100-plus runs in a given year. This was displayed by his 24 homers in his senior year of high school and also his 74 career minor league home runs in three-plus seasons playing there.

Second, he knows how to get on base. Last season, Moustakas had a combined OBP of .369 as he only struck out 67 times in 118 games for the year.

Third, he is a natural born leader. It has been well documented that “Moose” is a take charge kind of guy, and this will only help him when he makes the transition to the big leagues this season.

Also, the competition for rookies this season looks really wide open right now with no presumed phenom, such as a Jason Heyward or a Bryce Harper set to take the field this year in the AL.

Moustakas has my vote for AL Rookie of the Year award, but does he have yours?

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