Mike Moustakas blasted a walk-off homer in the 13th inning to give the Kansas City Royals a 7-6 win over the Mariners on Thursday. In the same game, Eric Hosmer had two hits, bringing his season average up to .300. The standout performance by the duo was more of the same in a post All-Star break campaign that has been marked by a vast improvement for the sluggers.
While a playoff spot this season is improbable for the Royals, a strong second half by Moustakas and Hosmer should have Royals fans feeling good about the future.
The start of the season was rough for the two young cornerstones for Kansas City. In 80 games before the All-Star break, Moustakas floundered to a slash line of .215/.271/.327, with six home runs and an embarrassing 17 RBI.
In just 36 second half games, the talented third-baseman is hitting .287/.333/.465 and the power has come around to the tune of five home runs and 19 RBI.
Hosmer didn’t even hit a home run until May 9 and in 344 first half at-bats only notched nine long-balls.
In just 193 at-bats after the All-Star break, Hosmer has six home runs and 30 RBI. His slash line is extremely impressive at .326/.391/.477.
These corner infielders should be fixtures in the Kansas City lineup for years to come. It was widely assumed that this would be a breakout year for the duo, but the slow start had Royals’ fans concerned about where these two would lead the team in the future. After trading Wil Myers to Tampa Bay, the Royals’ offense is counting on Moustakas and Hosmer to deliver in a big way.
The strong second half by Moustakas and Hosmer has been mirrored by the team as a whole. In the first half, the Royals were 24th in the MLB in runs and 14th in batting average. In the second half, the team is up to 6th in the majors in scoring and in batting average.
The Kansas City offense is often viewed as a weak point of the team. The rotation, led by James Shields and Ervin Santana, has been great the whole year. Greg Holland has been lights out as the closer and the bullpen as a whole has been dominant.
If Moustakas and Hosmer can lead a turnaround of the offense, the Royals should finish this year strong and have a lot to look forward to next season.