Mike Moustakas tore up the minor leagues last year and has a spot waiting for him in the Royals lineup when he is ready. Lonnie Chisenhall also had a fine season and is lighting it up in spring training making a strong case for the opening day 3B job with the Indians.The two top third base prospects are set to make their major league debuts this season but which young slugger is going to pay greater dividends in 2011?
Moustakas worried many Royals fans heading into last season as he looked like he may end up a bust. He put those concerns to rest by destroying pitchers for 36 HR, a .322 AVG and only 67 strikeouts in 534 plate appearances between AA and AAA. One of the best power hitting prospects in baseball he keeps the strikeouts very low for someone with his HR totals. Some are concerned with his low walk totals which may make his strikeouts rise when he reaches the majors as pitchers should realize they don't need to throw him strikes. His power numbers are a bit suspect when you realize he did them in hitters leagues. Still, hitters league or not, he was way ahead of the competition and you should believe the power is for real. The Royals plan to hold Moustakas back as long as they can in order to delay his arbitration clock and he might not see playing time in the majors until June. When he arrives he should provide 25+ HR power immediately and may have a decent AVG if his lack of patience isn't exposed.
Lonnie Chisenhall doesn't have the same top prospect pedigree as Moustakas but what he does have going for him is a better chance to see playing time. He has less skill in nearly every area compared to Moustakas but the Indians look willing to give him a shot at opening the year on their roster. He has hit very well in spring training and has either Jason Donald or a rocking chair standing in his way at third, I can't remember which one. Chisenhall doesn't have elite power but he is above average there. He won't win a batting title but he shouldn't hurt you either. He doesn't walk a ton but he keeps the strikeouts in check. As you can see he's a jack-of-all-trades master of none type of hitter who should hit well if given the chance.
Moustakas has the edge in skills while Chisenhall has the edge in possible playing time. Chisenhall is not guaranteed a spot on the opening day roster but his case is getting stronger by the day which may tip the scales in his favor between him and Moose.Which would you prefer on your fantasy team? .270 AVG 18 HR 75 RBI in 550 ABs from Chisenhall or .265 AVG 16 HR 55 RBI in 350 Abs from Moustakas?