Fantasy Baseball 2012: Can Mike Moustakas Break Out?

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IApril 2, 2012

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 29: Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals poses during photo day at the Surprise Sports Complex on February 29, 2012 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Mike Moustakas had a decent rookie season, posting a .263-26-5-30-2 line in 338 at-bats over 89 games. Although he didn’t get swallowed alive by Major League pitching, he didn’t set himself apart with his .309 on-base percentage, .367 slugging percentage and .675 OPS.

The question is can he bust out in 2012 and form a solid one-two punch with Eric Hosmer? Despite a slow spring, the signs are pointing in the right direction.

For starters, he has the pedigree. He handled Triple-A pitching to the tune of .293 batting average, .845 OPS last year and .293, .878 in 2010. He smacked 25 HRs in 448 at bats for  Triple-A Omaha. Not everybody that produces at the Triple-A (and every other level, for that matter) lives up to the hype at the big league level, but he hasn’t shown any reason he can’t produce.

Another encouraging sign was the way Moustakas finished the season. In his first 25 games he hit .228 with a .577 OPS. Clearly he struggled initially with big league pitching. He settled in though, hitting. .276 with a .713 in the remaining 64 games. He was smoking in 22 September games, hitting .352 with a .960 OPS. Four of his five long balls came in September.

The good thing is he can be had on the cheap. His Mock Draft Central ADP is 222. That put him in the 19th round of 12-team leagues. He is the 13th third baseman to come off the board, behind the likes of Ryan Roberts.

Is he a worth a look at the latter stages of a fantasy draft? Absolutely. Can this be his break out year? Absolutely.


Also check out:

2012 Fantasy Baseball First Base Rankings
2012 Fantasy Baseball Outfielder Rankings

2012 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings

2012 Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings

2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers