Kansas City Royals: Crushing Fantasy Expectations

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Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) – Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Moustakas

Everyone remembers Mike Moustakas’ postseason heroics, but few can forget his paltry .212 regular season average, which failed to make even the top 25 for qualifying third basemen. With such a horrendous campaign that included a stint in Omaha, it’s no surprise Moose went undrafted in fantasy leagues this spring.

Now though… Wow.

Everyone called Yost crazy when he said the sub-.250 career hitter would be taking over duties in the two-hole, a spot in the lineup traditionally reserved for someone who can put the ball in play and sacrifice when necessary (you know, a quality batter). Of course, we’re almost a month in, and Yost couldn’t wait to tell the sports world how right he was, according to Andy McCullough, the Royals beat writer of the Kansas City Star.

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It’s been repeatedly written about now, but what Moose has done is truly remarkable. He was the 10th most shifted player last year according to Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star. While Moustakas’ pull-heavy power swing crushed in high school and the minors, once the shift was employed, he looked much more like a “AAAA” hitter who didn’t quite know how to adjust.

His .346 average after Tuesday night’s game in Cleveland leads the Royals batters and puts him 9th in the AL (Cain is 10th) – at this point last year, his sub-.150 average was among the worst for every-day players.   In one season, this man jumped from the 10th percentile to the 90th and has become an entirely different kind of hitter.

Ironically, he actually had one more home run at this point last year, but when you’re hovering around the top of the ranks for your position in hits and runs, that’s a trade-off any fantasy owner is willing to make, especially for someone who was added to fantasy teams after the entire draft was over.

Next: Baseball’s Bad Boy