Royals Midseason Report

Moustakas Slugs Way To The Top






Best Player: After missing all but eight games in April with an oblique injury, Mike Moustakas still entered the midpoint of the season leading the Double-A Texas League in each of the triple crown categories.

The 2007 second overall pick out of Chatsworth (Calif.) High led the circuit with a .343 average, 19 home runs and 67 RBIs.

Moustakas' .683 slugging percentage also led the league and his 51 runs tied for first with Northwest Arkansas teammate Clint Robinson. The Royals are fighting the temptation to rush the 21-year-old Moustakas to the majors.

"He's still young," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. ". . . He's not a candidate to be on our major league team at anytime this year, I can tell you that. That's an advanced decision we've made."

Biggest Leap Forward: Derrick Robinson had one plus-plus tool—speed—when the Royals selected him in the fourth round in 2006 and signed him away from a football commitment to Florida.

The question has always been whether Robinson would get on base enough to use his sprinter speed. He stole 131 bases over the previous two years with high Class A Wilmington, but struggled to do much else. He hit .245/.316/.322 in 2008 before slumping to .239/.290/.324 last season.

But the 22-year-old Robinson altered his batting stance late last season and finished on a positive note. He was hitting .299/.376/.384 in 294 at-bats with Northwest Arkansas while stealing a league-high 32 bases.

Biggest Disappointment: The Royals made their first big splash in the Cuban market when they signed lefthander Noel Arguelles to a $6.9 million signing bonus in January and put him on the 40-man roster.

The 20-year-old Arguelles, who was the ace of the Cuban Junior Team before defecting in July, 2008, has been sidelined by a sore shoulder and has yet to throw a pitch this season.

The Royals hoped he would begin the season in Wilmington, but he remains on the DL while rehabbing in Surprise, Ariz.

ROYALTIES

• The Royals signed Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon, who was the fourth overall pick in the June draft, to a $2.75 million contract and assigned him to Wilmington.

• Northwest Arkansas lefthander Edgar Osuna went on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. Osuna was 6-2, 2.59 with 55 strikeouts and nine walks in 80 innings. Righthander Alex Caldera, who was 6-4, 3.25 with Wilmington, was promoted to replace Osuna on the Naturals roster.