Kansas City Royals

Top KC prospect moves to Omaha

As far as the Royals are considered, third baseman Mike Moustakas had nothing left to prove in Double-A.

"Just look at his numbers," Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore said. "He's performed very well and our staff and scouts and development people (agree).

"Customarily, when players do that, they move up," Moore said. "It was the right time to get him up there."

The red-hot Moustakas — the second overall pick in the 2007 first-year player draft — absolutely hammered Texas League pitching this season and earned a promotion Wednesday to KC's Triple-A team in Omaha.

After missing the first two weeks of the season with a strained right oblique, Moustakas batted .347 with a .413 on-base percentage, 21 home runs, 25 doubles and 75 RBI in 66 games with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

That performance over the season's first half made Moustakas an All-Star in the Texas League and also earned him a spot in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, where he hit third for the U.S. team.

Moore said that it made sense to promote Moustakas to Omaha now so he will have a half-season in Triple-A, where pitchers are more experienced and have a better feel for their secondary pitches.

But even if Moustakas continues his torrid pace, it appears the Royals intend on keeping him in the minors this year.

"I wouldn't put limitations on any player," Moore said, "but (a September callup) isn't something we've considered. There's a big difference between Double-A and Triple-A, and there's an even bigger difference between Triple-A and the major leagues."

Moore was asked if first baseman Eric Hosmer — the Royals' first-round pick in 2008 and another hot-hitting prospect who played in this year's Futures Game — was also on the verge of being promoted.

"It's something to look at," Moore said. "But the timing of things is important."

Hosmer is batting .349 with a .424 on-base percentage, seven home runs, 27 doubles and 50 RBIs at Class A Wilmington.