Feb 24, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals infielder Mike Moustakas poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Can Royals' Mike Moustakas bounce back in 2014?

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It goes without saying that fantasy baseball owners everywhere had a big list of disappointments in 2013.

Sep 26, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) makes a throw to first base against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Kansas City defeats Chicago 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

One name that likely found his way onto every list was Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas.

It’s always a risk banking on a young hitter filled with promise and Moustakas showed fantasy owners why last season.

There’s often plenty of reasons why players tabbed as future superstars don’t pan out. Often times it has to do with simply being overwhelmed, but sometimes bad luck comes into play and that could be the case with Moustakas.

On the surface his .233/.287/.364 slash line with 12 homers and a paltry 42 RBI should be enough to write Moustakas off for 2014, but there are plenty of indications that he is due for a bounce back this year and could be a sleeper guy to target late in drafts.

His BABIP of .257 was a bit low considering his line drive rate of 19 percent. That alone should help him post a higher batting average in 2014.

I’m not suggesting Moustakas will hit .300, but I can easily see him hit .265 or so, which would represent a huge jump in production from a year ago.

Add in the fact that he improved his contact rate by 4 percent last year up to 82 percent and there’s reason to believe that 2013 was just a down year for Moustakas.

All of his metrics suggest the batting average should rebound and along with that the homers and RBI should increase as well.

Not that I pay much stock in spring numbers, but Moustakus is off to a positive start.

He hit a pair of bombs in Sunday and the No. 2 overall pick of the 2007 MLB Draft is now 5-for-9 and has driven in six runs through the first four games (through Monday).

That could be good news for you as Moustakas has a current ADP of 279, which means he is going in the 23rd round in 12-team leagues.

I’m not suggesting a monster season for Moustakas, but at that round value he could be a steal if he lives up to my .265 AVG, 22 HR, 80 RBI projections.

Don’t be afraid to take a gamble on a young player like Moustakus that is coming off a down year.

 
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Tags: Fantasy Baseball Kansas City Royals Mike Moustakas

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