Patience is truly a virtue. For Kansas City Royals third basemen, Mike Moustakas, there is no statement more true. Known as a notoriously slow starter, Moustakas seems to finally becoming the Major League baseball player that he looked to become while he was in the Minor League system. It just takes some getting used to before success comes around for Moustakas.
He struggled at the beginning of every level in his career including his start in his rookie year in 2011. But just like the Moustakas of the past it seems that after getting used to playing at the level that is needed for success with the big club, he is beginning to come into his own. All everyone had heard about was this Moose-something kid that was hitting the cover off of the ball at every level that he had been at but that he was not the greatest defensive third basemen in the world. Well that, so far in 2012, has yet to be seen. Moustakas continues to dazzle us all with his plays that he makes at third base. Not only does he make the plays at third base but it also helps to have as sure-handed of a first basemen as the Royals do in Eric Hosmer. Hosmer, whom Moustakas continues to give credit to after every question that is asked about his defense, is like a vacuum when it comes to making plays at first base.
Last season, Moustakas began to show that his bat would have a little bit of life in the big leagues. After a horrible start to his career he had about as good of a month and a half as a rookie could have at the plate, but the speculation was still there. Not anymore, Moustakas is currently hitting a very respectable .318 with 4 home runs and 15 RBIs, 3 of which came in Thursday night’s win against the New York Yankees. In that game not only did Moustakas seem to put the team on his back at the plate but made a game winning play at the third base on a short ground ball of the bat of Alex Rodriguez. The play was tremendous but it was a play earlier in that game that showed that Moustakas is becoming a Major League baseball player. On a ground ball similar to that that resulted in the final out of the game, Moustakas charged at instead of making the play with his bare hand as he should have he went for it with his glove and could not get the ball into his mitt. Now of course for the last out of the game he would have a play that he could not make earlier in the game but he recognized that is was identical and adjusted his route to the ball making a bare handed play and strong throw to end the Royals home losing streak at 10.
Playing in the Major Leagues is all about the results. But beyond that it is about not only the long term adjustments that have to be made but also the in game adjustments that may go unnoticed that matter. The fact that he is a slow starter is not what people will begin to see, but the fact that he has made the adjustments necessary to lead a young Royals ball club to the success that everyone wants is what people will notice. And again, patience is a virtue, and no one in Major League baseball knows that more right now than Mike Moustakas. The “Moooooose” battle cry could be ringing through Kauffman Stadium for a long time coming. A cheer that fans will never get tired of.