Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas led the Midwest League with 22 home runs. The second overall pick in the draft in 2007, Moustakas played the entire season at 19 years old. In the last 16 years, how many teenagers (ages as of July 1) have hit more home runs than Moustakas in one Midwest League season? Only two.
|MOST SINGLE-SEASON HR BY TEENAGER IN MIDWEST LEAGUE|
|Wily Mo Pena||CIN||2001||565||26|
Of course, to lead a league in the minors in any counting statistic requires accruing a certain amount of playing time, and Moustakas got plenty of plate appearances by staying in the league the entire season. Perhaps had Moustakas’ .671 OPS before the all-star break and .949 OPS after the break been reversed, he might have been promoted to high Class A Wilmington and never had the opportunity to amass that many home runs. In terms of home runs per plate appearances—or, for easier digestion, home runs per 550 plate appearances (minimum 250 PAs)—some new names step into the picture.
|HR/550 PA BY TEENAGERS IN MWL|
|Wily Mo Pena||CIN||2001||565||26||25|
Still pretty impressive, ranking amidst a group of players who developed plus-plus and even 80 power on the 20-80 scouting scale, although hitting a boatload of homers in the Midwest League as a 19-year-old isn’t any guarantee of future stardom.
And while he belted home runs at a torrid pace, Moustakas hit 25 doubles and three triples. Pretty good, but of the 229 teenagers with at least 250 plate appearances in the Midwest League since 1993, Moustakas’ ranks in No. 116 in doubles and triples per 550 plate appearances, almost smack dab in the median. That’s still plenty of power—his .196 isolated power (slugging minus batting average) ranks 19th among that group—but some other talented teenagers of recent Midwest League history get thrown into the mix.
|ISOLATED POWER BY MIDWEST LEAGUE TEENAGERS|
|Wily Mo Pena||CIN||2001||565||.221|
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