Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos has been one of the most underrated players in baseball this season, combining exceptional defense with surprisingly strong hitting to rank 11th among AL position players in Wins Above Replacement.
Ozzie Guillen came to appreciate Bourjos after the Angels swept a two-game series against the White Sox this week, heaping praise on the 24-year-old center fielder:
Oh my god, he can be my favorite player. I’ve never seen a white man that can run that fast. It is really impressive. That man might be the fastest person in baseball right now.
Bourjos hasn’t quite mastered stealing bases, going 17-for-23 so far, but there’s no one faster running to first base or going first-to-third, and Ultimate Zone Rating says he’s been 10.2 runs above average defensively in center field while batting .282 with 39 extra-base hits and a .780 OPS in 116 games.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.