AAA Omaha Royals
21 years old
Weight: 230 lbs.
Drafted by Royals in the 1st round (second overall) of the 2007 MLB Draft
The newest member of the Omaha Royals is the obvious choice to feature in this week’s Royals Farm Report. Mike Moustakas is one of the hottest prospects in baseball, and he tore up Double-A in the first half of the season, earning him a promotion this week to the Triple-A squad.
In fact, if Moustakas continues to progress at the current pace, we won’t be able to call him a “prospect” much longer. All indications are that the 21-year-old slugger will get a serious look in Spring Training, and many speculate he could be the Opening Day third baseman for the 2011 Kansas City Royals.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Moustakas was drafted as a shortstop straight out of high school, the second overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. A highly-touted Scott Boras client, Moustakas produced drama soon after the draft, waiting until 11 minutes before the deadline to accept a $4 million signing bonus from the Royals.
But early on in his professional career, Moustakas failed to live up to his lofty expectations. For two seasons he wallowed in Single-A, causing many Royals fans to write him off as a bust. But in 2010 Moustakas earned a spot on the AA-Northwest Arkansas roster. With the Naturals, he started to look more like the natural talent scouts had expected him to be.
Over 66 games, Moustakas batted .347 with 21 home runs and 76 RBI to go with a 1.100 OPS. He won a spot in the Futures Game during All-Star week. And he has provided a new hope to Royals fans, who in the recent past have had little.
Moustakas is now a part of a power-packed lineup in AAA-Omaha, featuring Kila Ka’aihue, a newly-rejuvenated Alex Gordon and Rick Ankiel, serving a rehab assignment with the O-Royals.
The next several weeks will be crucial to Moustakas’ development. He’ll be facing tougher competition and a new round of pitchers. If he can continue his early-season form, the sky is the limit for the young infielder.
MiLB WEEKLY ROUNDUP
AAA – Omaha Royals
Record to date: 49-41, first place in the PCL American North
The past week: 2-1 during the short week surrounding the All-Star Break.
Transactions: Mike Moustakas was promoted to Omaha from AA-Northwest Arkansas; Irving Falu was placed on the temporarily inactive list; Devon Lowery skipped Double-A and was sent to Omaha from A+ Wilmington; and Chris Hayes was placed on the disabled list.
Coming up: The O-Royals complete a four-game set on the road against Nashville over the weekend, before moving to Memphis for four games. They come back home to face Newark next weekend.
AA – Northwest Arkansas Naturals
Record to date: 7-12 in the second half (third place), 55-33 overall
The past week: 1-3, including a loss to San Antonio that ended a seven-game winning streak
Transactions: Nick Van Stratten was placed on the DL; Mario Santiago was placed on the Temporary Inactive List for the 2010 Caribbean and Central American Games; Mike Moustakas was promoted to AAA-Omaha; Jarrod Dyson was received from A+ Wilmington; and Henry Barrera was optioned to Northwest Arkansas after completing a rehab assignment in Wilmington.
Coming up: The Naturals face Springfield this weekend at home before moving on to face the Arkansas Travelers on the road. Next weekend, they host Springfield again.
A+ – Wilmington Blue Rocks
Record to date: 14-7 in the second half (first place), 46-45 overall
The past week: 3-2 on the week; two games were postponed due to rain and wet conditions.
Transactions: Adrian Ortiz was placed on the temporarily inactive list; Danny Duffy was promoted to Wilmington from Idaho Falls; Devon Lowery was assigned to AAA Omaha from Wilmington; Rene Oriental was promoted to Wilmington from A- Burlington; Jarrod Dyson was sent up to Northwest Arkansas; Kevin Chapman was assigned to Wilmington from Kansas City; Eric Hosmer was placed on the reserve list, then reactivated; and Ryan Stovall was sent down to Burlington.
Coming up: The Blue Rocks finish the weekend at home vs. Frederick before a three-game set at Myrtle Beach and four games at Kingston.
POSITION PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Wil Myers, Catcher, A+ Wilmington Blue Rocks
.400 AVG (4-for-10), 4 RBI, 6 Base on Balls, Triple
19-year-old catcher Wil Myers is one of the most exciting prospects in the organization right now. Selected by the Royals in the third round of the 2009 draft, Myers earned a promotion to A+ Wilmington last week. Since then, he’s been terrific. Although he is not a dominant power hitter, Myers hits well for average and calls a good game behind the plate.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Gaby Hernandez, RHP, AAA Omaha Royals
1-0, 6.2 IP, 1 earned run, 11 K, 1 BB
The Royals claimed Hernandez off waivers from the Red Sox in March, and he’s been a serviceable arm in the Omaha rotation ever since. His season numbers aren’t spectacular – a 7-5 record with a 5.55 ERA. But he has 80 strikeouts in 110.1 innings pitched and only 36 walks. He was spectacular this week, with a win on the road against Nashville. Hernandez could be a sleeper candidate for the big-league rotation in the coming years.