As I am putting together the Prospect Pulse for July, I was looking at Mike Moustakas. One of the major questions about Mike Moustakas is if he will have the glove to stick at 3B in the Majors. There seems to be a feeling that Moose's defense is already questionable and will only get worse because of his "thick lower half".
But then I go over to minorleaguesplits.com and look at their minor league Total Zone ratings. As I understand Total Zone, its kind of a poor man's UZR--but its the best thing we have right now for minor league defensive numbers. I haven't seen any 2010 numbers but in 2008 Moose was at +11 (which translated to +26 over 150 games) and in 2009 he was again at +11 (+13 over 150 games). Moose ranked in positive territory even when he played SS for a little while in 2007/2008.
I know those sample sizes for defense aren't huge but I can't recall seeing any minor league 3rd baseman with numbers that good. The Royals seem pretty confident that Moose can stick at 3rd--as evidenced by their shifting of Alex Gordon to the OF. I'm curious what your thoughts are on his defense and how it should be evaluated.
Mike Moustakas' defense--who do you believe?
"Thick lower half" dooms him, he'll never be a good defensive 3B (6 votes)
He will be an adequate 3B for a few year before needing to change positions (68 votes)
Trust the Total Zone--above average defender for the forseable future (50 votes)
124 total votes