Royals promote 21-year-old stud prospect Mike Moustakas to Triple-A

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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.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.