Mike Moustakas

Michael Christopher Moustakas (/mˈstɑːkəs/; born September 11, 1988) is an American professional baseball infielder who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Cincinnati Reds.

Mike Moustakas
Moustakas with the Kansas City Royals in 2018
Free agent
Born: (1988-09-11) September 11, 1988
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 10, 2011, for the Kansas City Royals
MLB statistics
(through 2022 season)
Batting average.247
Home runs203
Runs batted in635
Career highlights and awards

Moustakas was drafted in the first round (second overall) of the 2007 MLB draft by the Royals.[1] During games he is often greeted by calls of "Moose", a nickname given by his little league coach along with fans and the media.[2]

High school career

Moustakas attended Chatsworth High School in Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, where he was a four-year starter in baseball. During that time he helped Chatsworth to a 124–11 record, including four West Valley League championships, and two California Interscholastic Federation city titles. Moustakas was voted "Player of the Year" by Cal-Hi Sports in both his sophomore and junior years.[3] His 52 career home runs in high school are a California prep state record.[4]

Moustakas attempted to be a two-sport player for Chatsworth, but a broken ankle suffered in his first game as quarterback for the Chancellors ended his high school football career, and nearly ended his baseball career as well. However, after three months of rehabilitation Moustakas was able to resume playing baseball.[5] In 2006 Moustakas was a member of USA Baseball's Junior National Team, competing in the World Junior Championships in Cuba. He topped off his prep career by being named Baseball America's High School Player of the Year in 2007, an honor previously bestowed on MLB stars like Joe Mauer, Homer Bailey and Josh Hamilton.[6] Moustakas was also selected to the USA Today All-USA high school baseball team in 2007.[7] He was offered a scholarship to USC, but turned it down and decided to enter the 2007 MLB draft.[5]

Professional career

Minor leagues

Moustakas with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in 2009

The Kansas City Royals selected Moustakas with the second overall pick of the 2007 amateur draft. He signed with the team on August 15, 2007, receiving a reported signing bonus of $4 million.[8] Chatsworth teammate Matt Dominguez was chosen by the Florida Marlins with the 12th overall pick of the amateur draft. The pair became just the sixth set of high school teammates to be selected in the first round of the same draft.[9]

Entering 2009, Moustakas was widely regarded as one of the top baseball prospects in all of minor league baseball. The Sporting News ranked Moustakas as the 13th-best prospect overall,[10] while MLB.com listed Moustakas as their 11th-best prospect in all of baseball.[11] Moustakas, however, had trouble adjusting to the Carolina League in 2009. While his power remained, his ability to hit for a high average went down significantly as he adjusted to the new level of competition. Moustakas' power and average quickly returned to form after being called up to Double-A ball the following year — as of July 13, 2010, Moustakas was hitting .352 with 21 homers and 76 runs batted in (RBIs) in AA Northwest Arkansas. On July 15, 2010, he was promoted to Triple-A Omaha.[12] On August 30, 2010, Moustakas was named the 2010 Texas League Player of the Year and on the same night, he set an Omaha Royals record with three home runs and 11 RBIs in one game.[13] Moustakas won the Joe Bauman Home Run Award for most home runs in minor league baseball, winning a tiebreaker with Mark Trumbo.[14] On May 22, 2014, he was demoted to Triple-A Omaha after batting just .152 through 139 plate appearances.

Kansas City Royals

Moustakas had his contract purchased by Kansas City on June 9, 2011.[15] He made his debut the following night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, going 1–3 with a walk and a run scored. His first major league hit came in his third plate appearance against Ervin Santana, where he would eventually score in the 4–2 win.[16] Moustakas went on to play in 89 games for Kansas City in 2011, finishing the season with five home runs, thirty RBIs, and a season batting average of .263.[2]

On February 18, 2012, the Royals announced they had signed Moustakas to a one-year contract for the 2012 season. No financial terms of the deal were released.[17] During the 2012 season Moustakas set a new club record for K.C., playing 47 straight games without an error. He also made 41 double plays far besting the previous mark of 34 Mark Teahen set in 2006.[2] Moustakas finished the year batting .242 with a .296 OBP with 20 home runs and 73 RBIs, also hitting 34 doubles.[2]

In 2013, he batted .233 with a .287 on base percentage, 12 home runs, and 42 RBI.[18] He also led all American League third basemen with 16 errors.[18]

Moustakas struggled early in the 2014 season. On May 22, 2014, he was demoted to Triple-A Omaha after batting just .152 through 139 plate appearances, though he led the team in homers with 4.[19] On June 1, Moustakas was recalled from AAA.[20] He began to hit more consistently after this. He finished the season batting .212, while hitting 15 homers and driving in 54 runs. Moustakas tore through the 2014 postseason, hitting five home runs, including a go-ahead solo shot in the 11th inning of Game 1 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He led all 2014 postseason players in homers. The Royals would then lose to the San Francisco Giants in the 2014 World Series.

In 2015, Moustakas carried over his success from the postseason and had a batting average at or above .300 right up until the All-Star break. He was selected to the 2015 All-Star Game via the All-Star Game Final Vote. On May 15 against the Yankees, he went 4-for-5 with a homer shy for hitting for the cycle. Moustakas was placed on the family emergency list twice during the first half of the 2015 season. On September 12, Moustakas set a new Royals franchise record against the Baltimore Orioles, with 9 RBI, eclipsing the previous mark of seven set by Billy Butler and George Brett. He hit a grand slam, three-run home run and a two-run single in the 14–6 win. In 147 games, Moustakas batted .284 with 22 home runs and 82 RBI. The Royals won the World Series against the New York Mets to win the franchise's first world championship in 30 years.

On May 7, 2016, Moustakas was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a fractured left thumb. On May 22, Moustakas suffered a right knee injury while colliding with teammate Alex Gordon in an attempt to fetch a pop up in foul territory. The next day, an MRI revealed that there was a torn ACL in the knee, ending Moustakas' 2016 season.[21]

Moustakas won the All-Star Final Vote for the second time of his career on July 6, 2017, and participated in the Home Run Derby. On July 28, Moustakas hit his 30th home run of the season at Fenway Park, becoming the fastest Royal ever to reach the mark in a season. Moustakas had 38 home runs that season, a new Royals single season record.

On March 10, 2018, Moustakas re-signed with the Royals for one year and $5.5 million, plus a mutual option for 2019.[22]

Milwaukee Brewers

On July 28, 2018, the Royals traded Moustakas to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Brett Phillips and Jorge López.[23] With the Brewers, he batted .256/.326/.441.

On October 4, 2018, Moustakas hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning of NLDS Game 1 vs the Colorado Rockies, giving the Brewers a 3–2 win and a 1–0 series lead. The Brewers later swept the series in three games, but would proceed to lose the NLCS to the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 3. On October 30, 2018, Moustakas declined his half of a mutual option for 2019 and became a free agent.[24]

On February 19, 2019, Moustakas re-signed with the Brewers, inking a one-year, $10 million deal with a mutual option for 2020.[25] He declined his half of the option and became a free agent after the 2019 season.[26]

Cincinnati Reds

On December 5, 2019, Moustakas signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds, the largest free agent deal in Reds history.[27] In 44 games for Cincinnati in 2020, Moustakas slashed .230/.331/.468 with 8 home runs and 27 RBI.[28] Moustakas wore number 9, as 8, his previous number he wore for most of his career, was retired by the Reds for Joe Morgan.

On May 20, 2021, Moustakas was placed on the injured list after suffering a right heel contusion.[29] After re-aggravating the injury,[30] Moustakas was transferred to the 60-day injured list on June 19.[31] Moustakas was activated from the injured list on August 6 and hit three doubles in his return to the lineup.[32] Moustakas hit his 200th career home run on July 10, 2022.[33]

The Reds designated Moustakas for assignment on December 22, 2022.[34] He was released on January 5, 2023.[35]

Personal life

The son of Connie and Mike Moustakas, a former college football player for UCLA, Mike was born in Los Angeles on September 11, 1988,[3][7] and grew up in the Los Angeles area. He is of Greek descent, as his grandfather was born in Greece, and he flew a Greek flag above his locker in the Royals' clubhouse.[36] He is the nephew of author, MLB player and former New York Mets hitting coach Tom Robson, who gave Moustakas hitting tips growing up.[37] Moustakas' mother died in 2015 after a long illness.[38]

When not playing baseball Moustakas enjoys golf and fishing.[39] Asked by USA Today what career he would enjoy other than baseball, Moustakas expressed an interest in being a firefighter.

Moustakas and his wife, Stephanie, have been married since 2014, and they have two daughters and a son. They also have an Australian shepherd named Gus.[39] They reside in Malibu, California during the offseason.[40]


  1. "2007 MLB.com Draft Tracker". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. June 8, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  2. Duber, Vinnie (January 2, 2013). "Evolving Moustakas a hit on and off the field". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  3. "Chatsworth Baseball". Chatsworth High School Athletic Department. 2006. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  4. "Moustakas Bio and Stats". Wilmington.bluerocks.milb.com. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  5. Sondheimer, Eric (October 13, 2006). "Athletes' Mental Health Still Should Be Top Priority". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  6. Matthews, Alan (July 2, 2007). "High School Player of the Year: Mike Moustakas". Baseball America. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  7. "Porcello leads the way on 2007 All-USA baseball team". USA Today. June 28, 2007. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  8. "Royals sign No. 2 overall pick 11 minutes before deadline". ESPN. Associated Press. August 16, 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2007.
  9. Official MLB.com bio MLB.com. Accessed April 28, 2013.
  10. "Prospects: Rankings: Top 100 Prospects: Top 100 Prospects: 1–20". BaseballAmerica.com. February 24, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  11. "Top Prospects | MLB.com: Minors". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  12. Zuba, Samuel. "Moustakas promoted to Triple-A Omaha | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  13. "Moustakas Hits 3 HR, Drives In 11 In 23–5 Rout". Wibw.com. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  14. "Moustakas wins Joe Bauman Award". Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  15. Pouliot, Matthew (June 9, 2011). "Royals call up former No. 2 overall pick Mike Moustakas-pick-mike-moustakas". nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  16. "Royals vs. Angels Box Score | 6/10/11". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  17. Veeser, Lance (February 18, 2012). "Royals sign four more including Hosmer and Moustakas". kshb.com. KSHB-TV. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  18. "Mike Moustakas Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  19. Reiper, Max (May 22, 2014). "Royals demote Mike Moustakas to Omaha". royalsreview.com. SB Nation. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  20. Crasnick, Jerry (June 1, 2014). "Royals recall Mike Moustakas". ESPN.com. ESPN. The Associated Press. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  21. Thornburg, Chad (May 26, 2016). "Moustakas has torn ACL, out for season". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  22. Todd, Jeff (March 10, 2018). "Royals Re-Sign Mike Moustakas". mlbtraderumors.com. MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  23. Haudricourt, Tom (July 27, 2018). "Brewers trade for Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas; Travis Shaw will move to second base". jsonline.com. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  24. Adams, Steve (October 30, 2018). "Mike Moustakas, Joakim Soria Decline Mutual Options". mlbtraderumors.com. MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  25. McCalvy, Adam (February 17, 2019). "Moustakas agrees to return to Brewers". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  26. Todd, Jeff (November 1, 2019). "Moustakas, Grandal Decline Mutual Options; Brewers Outright Austin, Spangenberg". mlbtraderumors.com. MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  27. Nightengale, Bobby (December 5, 2019). "Cincinnati Reds make it official, announce Mike Moustakas signing". cincinnati.com. The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  28. Gray, Doug (December 21, 2020). "The Reds have gauged interest in trading Mike Moustakas".
  29. Adams, Steve (May 20, 2021). "Reds Place Mike Moustakas On 10-Day Injured List". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  30. Polishuk, Mark. "Mike Moustakas Re-Aggravates Heel Injury". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  31. Polishuk, Mark (June 19, 2021). "Reds Move Mike Moustakas To 60-Day IL, Select Josh Osich". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  32. "Mike Moustakas activated from injured list". MLB.com.
  33. "Mike Moustakas hits career homer No. 200, Reds stun Rays with three-game sweep". Cincinnati Enquirer. July 10, 2022. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  34. "Cincinnati Reds cut Mike Moustakas after Curt Casali returns on a one-year contract".
  35. "Cincinnati Reds release Mike Moustakas with $22 million remaining in contract". cincinnati.com. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  36. Kaegel, Dick (April 11, 2013). "Moustakas, Kottaras proud of Greek heritage". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  37. Kaegel, Dick (March 1, 2011). "Big-hitting Moustakas is wise beyond years". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  38. McCullough, Andy (September 13, 2015). "Mike Moustakas, following nine-RBI game, says his mother died this summer". kansascity.com. Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  39. Ortz, Jorge (March 27, 2011). "Get to know: Mike Moustakas heating up for the hot corner in Kansas City". USA Today. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  40. "Baseball's Mike Moustakas fields offers for his Malibu condo". Los Angeles Times. December 8, 2020.
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