RC Interview with Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas had a relatively disappointing first half, but he's been hitting the ball hard consistently ever since the All-Star break. Moustakas went 6-for-13 this weekend with six RBIs, and RC caught up with the young third baseman to discuss his progress at the plate and on defense, along with his first All-Star experience.

Royals Corner: First off, Mike, can I get your thoughts on the series? (Wilmington took two of three games from Salem)

Mike Moustakas: We played well. We weren't playing good baseball earlier, and finally we've been pulling everything together lately. We've been playing a lot of good baseball now. Everybody's doing the right things, people are getting on base, and the situational hitting's been good. We're just playing all around good baseball right now.

RC: You hit a lot of balls hard this series. Is it safe to say that you're seeing the ball well right now?

MM: Oh yeah. I mean, I've gotten a little more comfortable. For some reason, I think I'm more of a second half player. Last year, I struggled the first half and got more comfortable, and it's kind of the same thing right now. I'm getting a little more comfortable at the plate now, seeing the ball a lot better, just putting better swings on better pitches and not chasing what they want me to chase.

RC: Have you noticed a big difference between the quality of pitching in the Midwest League and what you've seen here in the Carolina League?

MM: Oh yeah, definitely. Everybody's throwing three pitches for strikes in any count, so it's definitely a league you've got to be patient in. Take what the pitcher gives you, and never get too anxious and never try to do too much. Just stay within yourself. Just hit the ball where they're pitching it.

RC: How's your defense coming along? You made a few nice plays tonight.

MM: Yeah, it's coming along well. [Blue Rocks manager Brian Rupp] works with me a lot over at third every day. I take a lot of ground balls before and after. It's one of the areas of my game I'm trying to get a lot better at. I'm working really hard there. I feel really comfortable over there now. It's almost my first full year [at third base], and it feels good right now.

RC: What was it like playing in your first All-Star game?

MM: Oh, it was awesome. They did a great job out there in Lake Elsinore. It was big league to the fullest. They had fireworks when we were coming out, it was a lot of fun. I got to be home, I got to see my friends and family, so it was really nice. It was a good set-up they had out there.

RC: Did you have a bunch of friends and family come out to the game?

MM: Oh yeah, definitely. I had like 15-20 people. My old high school coach was there, and all my friends from back home. So it was nice, being able to see them and have them be able to come watch me play, since I'm always so far away. It was a good set-up.

RC: What's it like playing in front of the great fan base in Wilmington?

MM: It's definitely a lot different from California, especially with the way the ball flies. It's more of a pitcher-dominant park, but the fans out there are amazing. We get a lot of fans every day, and they want the Blue Rocks to win. So we go out there every day and put on a good show, and hopefully we don't disappoint them too much and try to win as many baseball games at home as we can. The fans out there are just amazing. There are some serious diehard Blue Rocks fans out there, and they want their team to do well, so we try to do it for them.

RC: Thanks for talking with me, and good luck the rest of the season.

MM: Thanks a lot.

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