Tag:Mike Moustakas
Posted on: January 3, 2011 3:54 pm

Royals inviting top prospects to camp

Mike Moustakas The Royals you see in Surprise, Ariz., will almost certainly be more interesting than the ones you see at Kaufmann Stadium this summer.

The Royals announced today that several of their top prospects will be invited to spring training. First baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas (pictured), and left-handers Mike Montgomery, John Lamb, Danny Duffy and Chris Dwyer are all among Baseball America 's Top 10 prospects for the Royals and have been invited to camp.

The Royals have the highest-ranked farm system in baseball (and it's not close), and many have said it may be the best in recent history. That influx of talent is expected to get to Kansas City in 2012, with some trickling in later in 2011. The Royals don't have any of its current big league players under contract for 2012 (although it does hold club options through 2014 with closer Joakim Soria, as well as big-league contracts with Aaron Crow and Cuban lefty Noel Arguelles).

The 2011 Royals will feature the likes of Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera, but those are just placeholders while the crops mature on the farm. There is hope in Kansas City -- a ton of it really -- but it's just not for 2011, unless you count the Cactus League.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 15, 2010 11:59 am

Royals' system deep in talent

Dayton Moore took over the Royals more than four years ago, and the team's best showing under him was a 75-87 finish in 2008. But one thing he has done is rebuild the team's farm system.

The Royals have perhaps the deepest and best system in baseball, and Baseball America has released its Top 10 prospects from Kansas City's system .

It's telling that Mike Moustakas hit .322/.369/.630 last season with 36 home runs in Double-A and Trople-A and he's the team's No. 3 prospect. That's how loaded the team is on the minor league level. They also boast four left-handed arms among the Top 10.

First baseman Eric Hosmer (.338/.406/.571 with 20 home runs at Class A and Double-A) is ranked as the team's top prospect, followed by catcher Wil Myers (.315/.429/.506 with 14 homers).

The Royals should see some of their talented youngsters in Kansas City this season, but the wave will likely start in 2012, with what appears to be something of a future ahead for the organization.

Here's the full list of Kansas City's top prospects:

1. Eric Hosmer, 1b
2. Wil Myers, c
3. Mike Moustakas, 3b
4. John Lamb, lhp
5. Mike Montgomery, lhp
6. Christian Colon, ss
7. Danny Duffy, lhp
8. Chris Dwyer, lhp
9. Aaron Crow, rhp
10. Brett Eibner, of

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 8, 2010 10:16 pm

High hopes for Rendon

Anthony Rendon
Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon is on the board as the projected top pick in next June's draft, though that can always change. Jim Callis of Baseball America, who thinks about the draft all year long (he's like the non-ridiculous version of Mel Kiper), had some glowing praise for Rendon in a BA Q&A column Monday.

Asked where Rendon might rank among prospects if he were in pro ball right now, Callis said he'd be in the top 10, on the same level as the Yankees' Jesus Montero (who was nearly traded straight up for Cliff Lee in July), the Phillies' Domonic Brown and the Royals' Mike Moustakas. That's some elite company, but maybe the biggest compliment Callis paid Rendon is this:

"Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, also is in that group and almost certainly will be in our top 10. And as I've said before, I'd take Rendon over Harper because I think he'll be a better all-around hitter and a more valuable defender, not to mention that his makeup is less worrisome."

Considering Harper is being talked about as a once-in-a-decade hitter, ranking Rendon above him is high praise indeed. And he's not talking current ability -- Harper is an 18-year-old right out of high school, while Rendon is a more seasoned college player -- he's talking about career ceiling.

One question that remains about Rendon is how much teams will be concerned about his troubled right ankle. He broke and dislocated the ankle in July while playing for the U.S. national team, requiring surgery. It was his second severe injury and second operation on the ankle in two years; he tore two ligaments the prior summer, but returned in time for the season. He's expected to be ready in time for next season as well.

If Rendon takes a step back next season, or if his ankle scares teams away, there are other good options in what is considered a very good draft. Pitchers Matt Purke of TCU and Gerrit Cole of UCLA are other possibilities to be picked first.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 23, 2010 3:14 pm

Royals hold top prospect out of winter ball

The Royals have, at least for now, changed their minds about sending top prospect Mike Moustakas to the Dominican Republic for winter ball. The 22-year-old third baseman played 118 games at Double-A and Triple-A this year, batting a combined .322.

“When we made that decision [to send Moustakas to winter ball] in July,” assistant general manager J.J. Picollo told the Kansas City Star, “it was to see whether he can handle better pitching. But I saw him in the last week of the season in Omaha, and he faced a soft lefty, a hard-throwing lefty, a power righty, guys pitching backward – and he handled all of it.

“So the things we wanted to see him do in the Dominican, he’s already done them. Some guys still want him to go. We’re still discussing it.”

OK, now I just want to see this pitcher who throws backward. That's got to be impressive.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 11, 2010 6:31 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 10:33 am

R.I.P. Royals: Help is on the way

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Kansas City Royals

Oh Royals, through the 70s and 80s, the team was the model franchise. Since the turn of the century, the team's only been a punchline. That wasn't much different in 2010.


Yuniesky Betancourt Ewing Kauffman died in 1993. That's been the reason for the last 17 years of failure.

Oh, on the field? This year? Beyond Yuniesky Betancourt (pictured) being the team's shortstop? OK, Zack Greinke took a step back from his Cy Young 2009. Worse, he looked like another guy in a Royals uniform -- and that's not a good thing. Greinke went 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA.


How about Bruce Chen? Chen was 12-7 with a 4.17 ERA (the same as Greinke) -- but if you're looking long-term success, you're not betting on Chen.

Other positives? Joakim Soria may have been the best closer in the game, even if he didn't have too many games to close. Soria finished with 43 saves, a 1.78 ERA and 71 strikeouts and 16 walks in 65 2/3 innings.

The team also got rid of overpaid veterans like Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Guillen, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel.


Oh, is there ever.

Mike Moustakas The Royals have the deepest minor league system in the majors. Of Baseball America's 15-man Minor League All-Star Team, a full third were Royals.

The Royals are deep in position players (first baseman Eric Hosmer, catcher Wil Myers and third baseman Mike Moustakas (pictured)) and pitchers (lefty starters John Lamb and Mike Montgomery, reliever Tim Collins).

That's the good news, the bad news is with all this talent, it's still not ready for the big leagues in 2011, maybe 2012.


Same as they always are in Kansas City -- grim. As noted, there's help on the way and maybe some of those guys can make their debut late in the season, but this won't be the season for the Royals to make a move. There is a brighter days ahead, but they aren't in the 10-day forecast.


Don't raise ticket prices, because it's going to be another long year.

Greinke has started griping about not wanting to wait around for the Royals to get better, but he's still under contract through 2012. There's no reason to trade him this offseason, his value is lower than it should be and the asking price will be better in 2011 -- either at the trade deadline or after the season.

The Royals have already picked up the $6 million club option for outfielder David DeJesus, and he'll certainly bring something at the trade deadline next year.

There will certainly be plenty of suitors trying to pick up Soria, who is under team control through 2014. Listen, but unless bowled over for a deal, he's too valuable and under control for too long to move.

No fan is going to want to hear that they need patience, but there is actually hope for the Royals after so long without it. If half their prospects turn out as expected, they'll be the new Rays.


Same as it ever was. The Royals will be out of the picture by the All-Star break, and Ned Yost may even worry about his job. The only drama in September will be whether this team loses 100 games. But this time next year, there may be some excitement for 2012.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 7, 2010 3:09 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2010 11:34 pm

Rays pitcher named top minor leaguer

Jeremy Hellickson Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson was named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year.

Hellickson went 6-1 with a  2.59 ERA in nine Triple-A starts. Nice and all, but actually worse than his four starts in the big leagues, where went 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA.

Hellickson was recalled on Sept. 1 when the rosters expanded and moved into the bullpen. He appeared in Saturday's game against the Orioles and gave up six hits and two runs in 1 2/3 innings.

However, he could find himself in the Rays' rotation soon, as Jeff Niemann had another bad outing on Monday against the Red Sox. He went just 1 2/3 inning, allowing six runs. Since coming back from a shoulder strain, he's gone 0-3 with a 20.03 ERA, giving up just 23 runs in 10 1/3 innings.

Despite the Rays' recent success with their farm system, the two Rays players who have won the award before Hellickson aren't part of the team's revival. One, Rocco Baldelli (2002) is back with the team after being sidelined by injuries through much of his career, but is nothing more than a bench player. The other, Delmon Young (2005) was traded to Minnesota before the Rays' magical 2008 season.

Jason Heyward won the award last season.

Although the article didn't have any other players considered, but others that had to be under consideration were Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas (.322/.369/.630 with 36 homers and 124 RBI), Philadelphia outfielder  Domonic Brown (.327/.391/.589 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI), Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman (.319/.378/.521 with 18 home runs and 87 RBI) and Seattle right-hander Michael Pineda (11-4, 3.36 ERA).

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 1, 2010 12:09 pm

Royals not calling up top prospect Moustakas

Mike Moustakas "The Process" will have to wait a little longer in Kansas City, as the Royals have no plans to call up much-ballyhooed prospect Mike Moustakas.

"We don’t want to fill up the bench with guys that aren’t going to play," manager Ned Yost told the Kansas City Star , indicating Josh Fields and Gil Meche are guaranteed additions to the roster while catcher Lucas May may also be promoted.

Moustakas has split 2010 between Double- and Triple-A, hitting a cumulative .326/.374/.635 with 34 bombs in 506 plate appearances. The third baseman is considered to have a shot at opening 2011 as the club's starter, but won't be getting his feet wet yet even as he was named the Texas League Player of the Year.

In order for Moustakas to get ready for a battle in spring training, he will play winterball in the Dominican and may even participate in the Pan-Am games for Team USA. However, to play for Team USA, one cannot be on a 40-man roster -- which Moustakas would have to be to hit the majors.

"He doesn’t have to go on the [40-man] roster until after the 2011 season," GM Dayton Moore said of Moustakas . Being placed on a 40-man roster automatically starts racking up service time, a major-league contract and burning options as well as taking up space for another player the team may prefer be the majors.

"You could certainly make a case that it’s important for him to come up here in September, get acclimated and see what the major leagues are about," Moore continued. "Is that prudent now? It’s not. He’s still going to get the same opportunity in spring training that he would have had in 2011 whether he’s a September call-up or not."

In the absence of Moustakas, the Royals will take a look at Fields, who has been injured much of the season, in addition to Wilson Betemit, Chris Getz and Mike Aviles to sort through who will be starting, on the bench or out of the organization by the time Moustakas takes grounders at the hot corner next season.

 -- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 31, 2010 12:49 am

Big day for Royals prospect

Mike Moustakas As rosters expand on Wednesday, it will be interesting to see if the Royals call up third baseman Mike Moustakas.

On Monday, Moustakas was named the Double-A Texas League Player of the Year.

He celebrated Monday night by going 4 for 6 with three home runs,a  double and 11 RBI. He's now hitting .297/.317/.569 with 13 homers and 43 RBI in 45 games.

Prior to his promotion to Triple-A on July 17, Moustakas was leading the Texas League with a .347 average, 21 home runs and 76 RBI. He was also leading the league in slugging at .687.

Sure, he's only walked 33 times this season and he could work on that -- but on the other hand the Royals' third baseman is Wilson Betemit, with Willie Bloomquist also getting some playing time there. The No. 2 pick of the 2007 draft could at least bring some curious onlookers to Kaufmann Stadium, and for a 55-76 team, that's gotta count for something, right?

However, Moustakas isn't on the 40-man roster, so it wouldn't be a shock if he weren't called up.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
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