Major League Baseball Midseason Awards: American League
By Joe Smeltzer
Comeback Player of the Year: Mike Moustakas
When baseball fans think of the transformation of the Kansas City Royals from perennial cellar dwellers to World Series champions, it’s a safe bet that Moustakas is one of the first pieces that come to mind. After back-to-back AL pennants and the 2015 World Championship, the Royals fell on hard times last season. Moustakas was no exception.
The big third baseman’s 2016 campaign came to a premature end in late May as he suffered a torn ACL. It doesn’t take a medical degree to know that those types of injuries are hard to come back from. Moustakas has done just that. He is among the league leaders in home runs (30) and RBI (69) while posting a solid OPS+ of 125 to somewhat make up for a lackluster On-base percentage of .308. To get a little more analytical, Moustakas .359 weighted on-base average indicates that his poor OBP is somewhat misleading.
In short, Moustakas is on track to post career best totals in most categories aside from OBP, which is a pretty vital number. If he can get that up to respectability, he’ll be in even better shape.
As it is, his recovery is impressive, and the Royals are right in the thick of things largely because of it.