The Kansas City Royals have not given their fans much to get excited about for the upcoming 2011 season. Their biggest, and only legitimate, superstar in Zack Greinke was traded to Milwaukee, thus leaving their rotation depleted. They’ve brought in a couple of average-at-best hitters in Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera to fill the holes in their outfield created by other deals. The faith of the entire organization is in the Royals farm system that has been called the best in Major League Baseball, led by slugger Mike Moustakas.
Royals’ fans need a boost of energy. They need something about this team to get excited about. They need a new face of the franchise. Here’s a quick solution to all three of those needs: Name Moustakas the starting third baseman for the 2011 season. He is ready. Look at this stat line from last year: .322 BA, 36 HR, 124 RBI, .999 OPS, and only 67 strikeouts in 534 plate appearances between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. What else does he need to learn in the minor leagues?
Now, the Royals may be a little gun-shy after seeing the struggles of Alex Gordon. There was just as much excitement for the arrival of Gordon in 2007, but he had only spent one season in the minor leagues. Moustakas now has four seasons of minor league ball under his belt, and he has succeeded at every level. Also, it’s not like the Royals have anyone blocking his position. Does anyone really think that journeyman Wilson Betemit is the answer at the hot corner? It’s highly doubtful.
It’s been rumored the Royals want to bring up their most advanced prospects at the same time, in order to keep that core group together for as long as possible at any level. The fact of the matter is that Moustakas is more ready than any one else in the system, and it would be a mistake to make him wait any longer. The ideal outcome would be that he hits the ground running, possibly even putting Jason Heyward-type numbers. Even if that isn’t the case, he has to learn how to succeed at the highest level at some point. Moustakas is certain to struggle at some point when he makes it to the big club, but learning to handle those struggles both physically and mentally will be key to a successful career with Kansas City. The Royals are not going to be competitive in the near future, so this seems like an ideal time to start calling these super-prospects up to see how they can perform against the best of the best.
So, give Moustakas the call. Name him your starting third baseman for this upcoming season, attach him to hitting coach Kevin Seitzer’s hip, and watch him mold into a superstar. The Royals are staring down the barrel of another triple-digit loss season. The organization knows it, the players know it, and the fans know it. However, if Moustakas turns out to be as dominant as scouts say he is, that little light at the end of the tunnel could start to faintly appear. The future of the Royals is now, and it starts with Mike Moustakas.