How did Mike Moustakas perform in 2019 for the Milwaukee Brewers? Check out his season report card…
The Milwaukee Brewers traded for Mike Moustakas on July 27, 2018 in which he played primarily third base to finish the 2018 season. After electing for free agency at season’s end and seeking a multi-year deal, Moustakas rejoinrd the Brewers in 2019 on a one-year deal worth $10 million, but this time at a different position.
Moustakas ended up playing 359 innings at second base in 2019. After learning the position in spring training and going through some minor growing pains early in the regular season, he shifted back to third base due to the offensive struggles of Travis Shaw. Moustakas played 105 games at third base in 2019 and 143 games overall.
Even though Moustakas never spent any time on the injured list in 2019, he did miss his fare share of time due to multiple hand injuries. Early in the season he was hit by a pitch in his hand and missed close to a weeks worth of games at the end of April. Towards the end of the season, he missed even more time after a line drive injured his hand causing him to miss games at the end of August and into September. Despite these injuries, he still put together a 35-home run / 87-RBI season.
Overall Season Grade: B+
Despite the pressures of learning a new position his offense did not falter, especially early in 2019. Through the first 77 games Moustakas played in he recorded 23 home runs and 49 RBIs. However, it wasn’t just the power and run production that was impressive to begin the year. During that same stretch he hit .275, which was well above his .252 career batting average.
While those number didn’t stay put the remainder of the season, mainly due to a .240 second half batting average. He certainly showed the ability to protect Christian Yelich in the batting order and help distribute the Milwaukee Brewers offensive load. The good offensive start was enough to notch him a spot in his third all star game.
Moustakas had some big games during the season. He had four multi-home run games and two five-RBI games. His longest hitting streak was 12 games and his longest on base streak was 21 games. However, he had a poor finish to the season and had a .186 September batting average.
When matched up against power pitchers, classified as a pitcher in the top third of the league in strikeouts plus walks, Moustakas managed only a .197 batting average in 122 at bats. Another bummer stat is his .212 batting average in high leverage situations. An explanation for these low numbers is that Moustakas does most of his damage early in games. In fact 17 of his home runs in 2019 came in between the first and third innings. His slash line in the first through third innings is .300/.353/.632/.984 as compared to his seventh through ninth innings slash line of .224/.324/.441/.765.
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In the end, the one-year deal was a successful move for the Brewers. Moustakas is a well-respected player in the club house, a fan favorite, and overall a great teammate. With many tough decisions awaiting the Milwaukee Brewers this off season it remains to be determined if he will re-join the club in 2020.