Jul 14, 2010, 1:47 PM EDT
Kansas City selected high school shortstop Mike Moustakas with the second overall pick in the 2007 draft and he ranked among Baseball America‘s top 20 prospects for both 2008 and 2009, but dropped to No. 80 in this year’s rankings after hitting just .250/.297/.421 with a 90/32 K/BB ratio in 129 games at high Single-A.
Moustakas has bounced back in a big way this season, hitting .347 with 21 homers and 25 doubles in 66 games at Double-A to lead the Texas League in OPS despite being one of two 21-year-old hitters in the entire league. Or at least he was. Today the Royals promoted Moustakas to Triple-A, putting him one step from the majors two months before his 22nd birthday.
Last week Baseball America released a midseason version of their prospect rankings and Moustakas moved from No. 80 to No. 12, with editor-in-chief John Manuel noting his “legitimate pull power … short, powerful stroke and excellent makeup.” And if anything, that ranking seems low to me at this point.
Sure, it’s only a half-season, but it’s a ridiculously good half-season from a 21-year-old former No. 2 overall pick destroying Double-A pitching. I’ve been very critical of the Royals and general manager Dayton Moore because of his questionable decision-making at the MLB level, but between Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Montgomery there’s elite talent making its way up the ladder to Kansas City.
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