Mike Moustakas
Mike Moustakas
30-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Milwaukee Brewers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
After spending the first 11 seasons of his professional career in the Royals' organization, Moustakas was traded to the Brewers at last year's trade deadline. Milwaukee moved Travis Shaw to second base to accommodate Moustakas, and he served as the team's regular third baseman the rest of the way. Moustakas' batting average fell right in line with his career mark, but he set a new career high for RBI in a season and just missed hitting the 30-home-run plateau. Moustakas makes enough contact to overcome a low walk rate, though this will be his age-30 season, and most of his rate stats did fall off quite a bit last year. A free agent at press time, he figures to be signed to start somewhere, but if his pop continues to fall off, his fantasy value will do the same. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Brewers in February of 2019. Contract includes an $11 million mutual option ($3 million buyout) for 2020.
Could play second base
3BMilwaukee Brewers
February 18, 2019
Moustakas will get looks at second base this spring, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
The news is something of a surprise, as Moustakas has been almost exclusively a third baseman thus far in his major-league career, and a move to a tougher defensive position at this stage would be rather unusual. The Brewers also have Travis Shaw as a very capable option at the hot corner, but the team solved that problem last season by playing Shaw at second. There's no obvious reason why they'd switch that plan around this season, but if Moustakas manages to pick up enough games at second base to qualify there in some fantasy formats it would be at least a small boost to his value.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .746 377 30 16 50 1 .266 .300 .446
Since 2016vs Right .827 969 123 57 143 3 .257 .319 .508
2018vs Left .721 196 17 6 28 1 .260 .301 .420
2018vs Right .798 439 49 22 67 3 .247 .321 .477
2017vs Left .763 159 12 9 20 0 .270 .296 .467
2017vs Right .862 439 63 29 65 0 .273 .321 .541
2016vs Left .842 22 1 1 2 0 .286 .318 .524
2016vs Right .791 91 11 6 11 0 .229 .297 .494
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .796 638 77 32 95 3 .263 .310 .486
Since 2016Away .811 708 76 41 98 1 .257 .316 .495
2018Home .798 299 37 14 49 3 .258 .311 .487
2018Away .752 336 29 14 46 1 .245 .318 .434
2017Home .758 288 33 14 36 0 .259 .302 .456
2017Away .908 310 42 24 49 0 .284 .326 .582
2016Home .999 51 7 4 10 0 .313 .353 .646
2016Away .633 62 5 3 3 0 .179 .258 .375
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Stat Review
How does Mike Moustakas compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Following suit with the rest of the league, Moustakas went off in the power department last season, besting his previous career-high home-run total by 16. His hard-hit rate actually fell nearly six percentage points to 31.9 percent, but Moustakas got the ball in the air more often -- his flyball rate jumped from 39.6 percent to 45.7 percent -- and that was the driving force behind the homer spike. He was also a far more aggressive hitter, upping his Swing% from 42.1 percent to 55.6 percent, and while that led to a precipitous drop in walk rate, the new approach proved beneficial on the whole. The 29-year-old improved against same-handed pitching, batting .270/.296/.467 against lefties (.241/.291/.396 for career) and kept his contact rate over 80 percent. It may very well prove to be his career year, and the return to Kansas City is not ideal from a fantasy standpoint, but Moustakas does enough to warrant a starting spot in all mixed leagues.
A torn ACL suffered in a collision with Alex Gordon ended Moustakas' season in May, and served as a critically important blow to the Royals' bid to defend their World Series crown last season. Following a big step forward at the plate in 2015, Moustakas sustained the power increase he had shown (.470 SLG, 22 homers) with seven long balls and a .500 slugging percentage in his 113 plate appearances a year ago. Additionally, Moustakas continued to utilize the entire field more effectively as a hitter after showing heavy pull tendencies in 2013 and 2014, going to the opposite field at a career-high 30.8 percent clip. With his low strikeout rate, added pop, and improving approach, there's reason to believe that the 2015 numbers are his new baseline. A detailed timetable for Moustakas' return hasn't been revealed, but he's on track for Opening Day, which suggests that he'll be on the field when Cactus League play gets underway in March.
Many players come to spring training saying they are going to change only to fall back into tried and true habits once they break camp. Moustakas was not one of those guys. He talked about wanting to use all parts of the field and making more of an effort to hit the ball to the opposite field when pitched away, and it paid off in spades as he finally had the year we’ve been waiting for. He set career bests in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage a year after he had been demoted to the minors for bad hitting and in a year where he lost his mother to illness. The new approach at the plate helped to cure Moustakas’ ails against lefties that had dominated him the past two seasons, as he hit 100 points higher against them in 2015 than he did from 2013 to 2014. We also have likely not seen his home run ceiling just yet as there is 30 homer upside in his profile.
Moustakas slashed a miserable .212/.271/.361 in 2014, mostly due to his inability to hit left-handed pitching. He had a .554 OPS against southpaws, and collected just eight extra-base hits on them all year. The third baseman struggled immensely early in the year, and a .627 first-half OPS eventually led to a brief demotion to Triple-A Omaha. He returned to the team when Danny Valencia hit the DL with a hand injury, and the Royals confirmed their faith in Moustakas when they shipped Valencia to Toronto in a late-season deal. Despite the slow start, the 26-year-old finished the year strong, connecting for five long balls in the postseason (compared to 15 total during regular-season play). There are other reasons for optimism heading into 2015, as he posted a three-year low in strikeout rate (14.8 percent), and a career-low .220 BABIP suggests some bad luck came into play as well. Moustakas appears to be in line to begin the season as the starting third baseman, but if he hits another prolonged slump, prospect Christian Colon may begin to threaten his playing time.
After breaking out with 20 home runs in 2012, there were lofty expectations for the Royals' young corner man heading into the 2014 season. He spent the offseason altering his approach at the plate, hoping to be more aggressive and hit more line drives and fewer ground balls, but ultimately, he overcompensated and spent the first month of the season hitting weak pop-ups to infielders. It took him to almost the end of June before he fixed his issues and by then his power had diminished to the point where he had just six home runs at the All Star break. Moustakas continued to work and made some slight improvements, but in the end, he finished the season batting just .233 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI. The Royals are nowhere near giving up on this 25-year old and will give him ample opportunity to return to his 20-home form from 2012. His struggles from last year will easily keep his 2014 draft position low, so look for him as a corner infielder late and hope that his corrected mechanics do the trick.
While Moustakas' power continued to develop and he reached the 20-home run plateau by season's end, he struggled to maintain a decent batting average and finished the year hitting just .242 with just a .296 on-base percentage. He posted a walk rate just below league average and watched his strikeout rate spike to 20.2 percent as he struggled to make decent contact due to an increased swing rate at pitches outside the zone. There is plenty to love about Moustakas' approach at the plate and because he does not have a high groundball rate, the potential for him to improve his plate discipline and produce a better line drive rate should help his BABIP and eventually, his batting average. The 24-year-old will open the season as the Royals' starting third baseman and should put together a complete season in his third big league season.
Moose spent the first two months of the season at Triple-A Omaha waiting patiently, before being called up and spending the rest of the season as the Royals' everyday third baseman. He struggled to adjust at the plate, until September came, when he hit .352/.380/.580 with four home runs and 12 RBI. He possesses an ability to hit for average with plus-power that should develop as he continues to grow as a player. At 23, Moustakas has the potential to help many fantasy owners, just don't count on him reaching the elite of position in his sophomore season as he's still honing his craft as a hitter.
Moustakas' star dimmed a bit after he struggled at High-A in 2009, but he responded with a great half season at Double-A last year and held his own once he advanced to Triple-A. He'll eventually be a candidate for Super Two status if the Royals push him aggressively up to the majors, so look for him to stay stashed away for at least the early months of the 2011 campaign. It would also behoove Kansas City to be sure that 2009 was just an off year and not more indicative of a deeper problem in Moustakas' development, but he'll get a long look at third base during spring training.
"Moose" is a former first-round draft pick (No. 2 overall) with good hitting mechanics. He regressed at the plate last season, striking out 90 times in 492 at-bats. A left-handed hitter who was switched to third base from short, Moustakas must show power and agility to be considered a future third baseman in the Royals' system. He has a wide body with the potential to gain weight and lose fitness if he allows himself to indulge, and he looked out of shape and lethargic in the Arizona Fall League. Moustakas flashes home-run power, but pulls too many pitches and has to learn to use the entire field. He can't afford another marginal season. Even though the Royals have an investment in him, he must show improvement at the plate to be considered for a callup by 2011.
The Royals’ top pick from 2007 struggled out of the gates during his first full professional season, but seemed to figure it out after the All-Star break, hitting .321/.392/.557 with 13 home runs and a 39:26 K:BB ratio over his last 237 at-bats at Low-A Burlington. The only disappointment here is that he did not progress through the system at all, but he could find himself at Double-A Northwest Arkansas at some point in 2009.
The Royals drafted Moustakas out of high school with the second-overall pick, and he responded by holding out until the very last day that prospects could sign. Had agent Scott Boras had his way, Moustakas may be in the 2008 draft, but he signed and played 11 games for the team's rookie ball affiliate. Although the sample size was small, he showed a great bat at Idaho Falls, and could make his way up to Double-A this season. Since Alex Gordon most likely has third base locked up for a while, the Royals plan on moving Moustakas over to short, though he may end up in a different position depending on the time of arrival.
More Fantasy News
Returns to Milwaukee
3BMilwaukee Brewers
February 17, 2019
Moustakas agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with the Brewers on Sunday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
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Elects free agency
3BFree Agent
October 30, 2018
Moustakas declined his 2019 option with the Brewers and elected free agency.
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Slugs 26th homer
3BMilwaukee Brewers
September 15, 2018
Moustakas went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and a second run scored in Friday's 7-4 win over the Pirates.
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Sits vs. lefty
3BMilwaukee Brewers
September 11, 2018
Moustakas is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Cubs.
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Rides pine Friday vs. lefty
3BMilwaukee Brewers
September 7, 2018
Moustakas is out of the starting lineup for Friday's game against the Giants.
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