As everyone knows by now, Mike Moustakas was traded late Friday night in front of the approaching trade deadline, and the consensus seems to be the Royals got a very good return in Top 100 prospect OF Brett Phillips and former Top 100 prospect in RHP Jorge Lopez.
Phillips, who arrived after Game 2 of Saturday’s double header had started without his bats that the airline lost, made his debut Sunday and welcomed himself to Royals fans with this play:
Phillips, who has been a Top 100 prospect since 2016, where he was ranked as high as No. 32 by MLB’s rankings (and N0. 81 entering this season), was blocked in the Brewers system by their luxury of goods in the outfield and was expendable. Hitting only .182/.250/.273 in a limited stint with the Brewers this year (24 plate appearances in 15 games) and .240/.331/.411 with 6 HR, 25 RBI and 11 SB in AAA Colorado Springs, he did hit .276/.351/.448 with 4 HR, 12 RBI and 5 SB in 37 games in a late-season call-up last year. Known for his speed, athleticism and defense, the Royals project the 24-year-old as a right fielder, thanks to his 80-tool arm, despite his ability to play all three outfield spots.
Lopez is a former Top 100 prospect and has posted a 3.88 ERA and 1.674 WHIP in 13 appearances (2 starts) over three seasons for the Brewers, but was awful this year for Colorado Springs, a notorious place to pitch, with a 5.66 ERA and 1.500 WHIP. It remains to be seen if the Royals will use him as a reliever or convert him back to a starter.
Moose, who ranks 8th in Royals franchise history in homeruns (139), has had his share of moments in Kansas City. Here’s the most memorable ones:
May 14, 2014: Moustakas was scuffling at the plate, and many were saying he should be sent down to the minors. On a weekday day game, the Royals beat the Rockies 3-2 and Moustakas drove in all three runs with two hits, including a bases-clearing double.
When he spoke to the media, this is all he gave them:
A week later hitting .152 with 4 HR, 17 RBI, nine runs in 139 plate appearances, he was sent to the minors. He had just 3 multi-hit games so far on the season and hadn’t homered since April 23, where he wrapped up hitting all four of his homeruns in an 8-game span. He was the only player in baseball who makes less contact on balls in the strike zone than he does on balls out of the strike zone.
He was back 10 days later, on June 1, 2014 – three years to the day of his Major League debut, when Danny Valencia hit the DL. From that point on, he slashed .263/.318/.470 and was a 2-time All-Star. Prior to his brief minor league demotion, he was a .236/.290/.379 career hitter.
July 24, 2014: Mike Moustakas hits a game-tying “Little League” inside the park HR (double and an error) off Corey Kulber
October 2, 2014: Moose hit this extra-inning go-ahead HR in ALDS Game 1:
October 14, 2014: Moustakas falls into the dugout suite for this amazing catch in the ALCS:
October 15, 2014: Moose fields the final out, and throws over to Eric Hosmer at first as Royals sweep the Orioles to advance to their first World Series in 29 years. An 8-0 start to the postseason.
In that 2014 postseason, Moose’s 5 HR set a new Royals franchise record.
September 12, 2015: Moustakas homers twice, including his second career grand slam, driving in a franchise-record nine runs in a wild 14-6 road win in Baltimore.
The night before, the Royals allowed a TWO grand slam, 10-run eighth inning.
October 12, 2015: Facing elimination in the ALDS in Houston, Royals pieced together an epic rally to force Game 5. It was Moustakas who rallied the troops in the dugout with a rousing speech. Top of the 8th, down 6-2, the Royals sent 11 to the plate and 40 minutes and 53 pitches later, they’d scored five runs to take the lead. They had tied the game before the Astros had recorded an out. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Eric Hosmer added a mammoth 442-foot homer in the ninth for good measure.
The governor’s tweet, though:
October 23, 2015: Chris Colabello thought he pulled off a great double play in the deciding Game 6 of the ALCS, but Moustakas is quick to point out the ball is on the ground:
Also in that game Moustakas hit a homer that nearly wasn’t:
In that same game, Moustakas hit a homerun that nearly wasn’t:
In Game 1 of the 2015 World Series, Alcides Escobar lead off with a fly ball that deflects off Yoenis Cespedes, resulting in a leadoff inside-the-park homer:
Yoenis Cespedes, Gold Glover…*rolls eyes*
It was the first inside the park HR hit in the World Series since Mule Haas (1929).
In response to Escobar’s “ambush hitting,” Noah Syndegarrd, who said he had “a few tricks up his sleeve,” revealed his trick by delivering this message to Esky:
In post game, the Royals clubhouse was, as expected, NOT happy:
“If anybody’s got a problem with me throwing inside they can meet me at 60 feet, 6 inches away,” “Thor” said after the game.
They did, and…
September 20, 2017: Breaking Balboni – Mike Moustakas sets the Royals single-season HR record:
And if you’ve wasted all this time reading all of this, you can surely give 16 more minutes to watching all 38 of his glorious DONGS:
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