Cincinnati Reds: Mike Moustakas’ report card for the 2020 season

DETROIT, MI - JULY 31: Mike Moustakas #9 of the Cincinnati Reds bats during the game against the Detroit Tigers. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 31: Mike Moustakas #9 of the Cincinnati Reds bats during the game against the Detroit Tigers. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Mike Moustakas had a series of ups-and-downs in his first season with the Reds.

The Cincinnati Reds 2020 season was full of high hopes following the signings of several big name free agents. While Reds Country was excited about the power of Nick Castellanos, many fans were excited about the signing that brought a cornerstone from a World Series championship team and a leader in the clubhouse. However, Mike Moustakas‘ first season in Cincinnati didn’t go as planned.

Moustakas immediately made his presence felt in the Queen City, knocking in four while going 3-for-4 including a big fly on Opening Day in a 7-1 beat down against the Detroit Tigers. The World Series champ brought a spark through his bat, glove and overall presence with the club. All of that would take a turn just two days later when Moose would end up on the IL.

Mike Moustakas missed the next three games due to MLB protocols with COVID-19 testing. Moustakas made his impact felt in the fourth inning of his first game back with a two-run bomb to put his team on the board and help them to a 12-7 win over the Cubs. Sadly this wasn’t the last time the Cincinnati Reds would be without the 2019 All-Star.

B-. . 2B. Cincinnati Reds. MIKE MOUSTAKAS

On August 4th, Moustakas would start the game only to come out in the sixth inning and not be seen again for a few weeks. Between a quad strain that landed him on the injured list and the COVID-19 scare, Moose was shelved until the doubleheader against the Royals on August 19th.

Moustakas, for the most part, would struggle after his return along with the rest of the Reds lineup. But Moose did come alive in the latter half when his experience was needed during the Cincinnati’s push for October.

During his last eight games in 2020, Mike Moustakas slashed, .323/.353/.774 with three homers and nine RBIs and an 1.127 OPS. That is how a leader finishes when their team need them the most. Moustakas was arguably the best player for the team during that stretch.

Moustakas finished the season with eight homers and 27 RBIs while slashing .230/.331/.468.  Moose played solid second base, which was a question mark entering the season. His only error on the year came while playing first base.

Let’s just be honest, Moustakas’ best years were in Kansas City and what the Cincinnati Reds got is a fundamentally sound leader who is going to show up when it matters and there is nothing wrong with that. Moustakas was brought in to help get Cincinnati get into the postseason. While the team played October baseball, it was a quick exit for the Redlegs.

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Moustakas played solid defense and showed up when it mattered and had a good first game, but I’m not giving anyone a pass for not performing up to standards during the pandemic-shortened season. The Cincinnati Reds need more from Mike Moustakas in 2021.