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Mike Moustakas

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Mike Moustakas

Michael Christopher Moustakas
(Moose)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Mike Moustakas was a top pick in the 2007 amateur draft who made his majior league debut in 2011. He is a nephew of Tom Robson.

He was taken by the Kansas City Royals with the second pick of the 2007 amateur draft. He had set California state home run records for a career (52) and season (24). When teammate Matt Dominguez was taken 12th, it became the highest two high school teammates had been chosen in the same draft. In 2006, Moustakas had hit .231/?/.375 for the USA junior national team. In the 2006 World Junior Championship, he drove in five runs against Italy and made a home run-robbing catch against Cuba in the quarterfinals. The USA finished with a silver medal. Moustakas won the 2007 Baseball America High School Player of the Year Award.

Moustakas signed with scout John Ramey for $4 million in time to make his professional debut late in 2007. He played DH for the Idaho Falls Chukars on August 25 against the Ogden Raptors, going 2 for 5 with a 2-run double and two strikeouts. He hit .293/.383/.439 for the season. Baseball America rated him as Kansas City's top prospect going into 2008.

In 2008, the Los Angeles native batted .272/.337/.468 for the Burlington Bees. He led the Midwest League with 22 home runs and was second in total bases behind Mitch Moreland. He was the first teenager to lead the MWL in homers since Steve Gibralter 16 years prior. He alternated between shortstop and third base that year. Baseball America rated him as the top prospect in the league, followed by Neftali Feliz, Jarrod Parker, Ben Revere and Brett Wallace. Mike failed to make the league All-Star team as Brandon Waring was picked at third and Zach Cozart at short. Moustakas was again rated Kansas City's top prospect at year's end as well as the 13th-best prospect in all of baseball.

Moustakas led all Royals farmhands with 32 doubles in 2009. He hit .250/.297/.421 for the Wilmington Blue Rocks with 16 homers and 86 RBI, but the OBP under .300 was likely a cause for concern among the Royals. He fielded .931 at third base, having moved full-time from short. Mike led Carolina League third basemen in errors (24) and double plays (25). He was third in the league in RBI, trailing Brandon Waring by four and Donell Linares by one. Baseball America downgraded him to the #8 prospect in the Carolina League (fourth among infielders behind Pedro Alvarez, Freddie Freeman and Lonnie Chisenhall) and #80 in all of baseball.

In the Arizona Fall League, Mike hit .267 with five homers for the Surprise Rafters. His 19 RBI were second on the club behind Brandon Laird and he tied Colin Curtis for the most dingers. Moustakas showed significant improvement after kicking off 2010 with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, hitting .347/.413/.687 with 21 homers and 76 RBI after 66 games in AA to earn a mid-season promotion to AAA. That performance would eventually earn him Texas League Player of the Year honors at the end of the season. He also played for the USA in the 2010 Futures Game, starting at third base and hitting third. While the US won 9-1, Moustakas struggled. He popped up against Simon Castro, ground out versus Alexander Torres and hit into a double play against Henderson Alvarez before being replaced by Chisenhall. He had a game for the ages on August 30 for Omaha against the Round Rock Express, hitting a pair of three-run homers, a two-run homer and a three-run double for a team-record 11 RBI in a 23-5 win. He hit .293/.314/.564 in 52 games for Omaha. His 36 homers between his two stops were tops in the minor leagues that year and after the season he was named Baseball America's #9 prospect, one of a number of young Royals players to be distinguished by the magazine that off-season.

Moustakas started the 2011 season back in Omaha, where he hit .287/.347/.498 in 55 games. He earned a promotion to Kansas City on June 10th, a few weeks after teammate Eric Hosmer. He started at 3B against the Los Angeles Angels that day and went 1 for 3 with a walk; the next day, he hit his first major league home run, a solo shot against Joel Pineiro.

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