With the Milwaukee Brewers’ Mike Moustakas in the midst of an all-star season and already with one World Series ring as a member of the Kansas City Royals, we thought it would be a good time to present the 2007 Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year writeup that we did about him after his senior year at Chatsworth High. It could be argued that he had one of the best senior seasons and careers of any player in state history.
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In a state like California with an abundance of baseball talent, it should never be easy choosing a state high school player of the year. After all of the section playoffs were complete, however, we have to admit that for the 2007 season it took about as much time to decide as it would if we were choosing between Maui or Midland, Texas for a tropical vacation.
The player to pick, of course, is Chatsworth High’s Michael Moustakas and we are honored to announce today that he has been named as the 2007 Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year.
Moustakas is the first state player of the year in baseball from Chatsworth and is the first from the CIF L.A. City Section since Jon Garland of Granada Hills Kennedy for 1997. And if other recent L.A. City state players of the year besides Garland (Chicago White Sox) are an indication, Moustakas has a bright future indeed. That list also includes Bret Saberhagen from Cleveland of Reseda (1982), Darryl Strawberry of Crenshaw (1980), John Elway of Granada Hills (1979) and Robin Yount from Taft of Woodland Hills (1973).
After receiving state sophomore and junior player of the year honors in the last two years, it’s safe to say Moustakas was a favorite to start the season and he did nothing to fall from the perch in any way. In fact, after smashing his 22nd home run in May to set a new single-season state record, Moustakas even increased the strength of his resume.
Heading into the start of section playoffs, however, there was a chance that somebody could have stolen it away from Moustakas if Chatsworth did not win an L.A. City Section title and another team like Cypress with Josh Vitters or Los Gatos with Kyle Blair did exceptionally well. Vitters had to be looked at particularly close since he was projected to go high in the first round of the MLB draft and he already was named as the Gatorade State Player of the Year.
What happened instead only made Moustakas look even more attractive. First, he helped Chatsworth win the L.A. City Section title and upped his home run total to 24. Second, Cypress and Vitters didn’t get past the second round of the Southern Section playoffs. And then third, Moustakas wound up being picked one spot higher than Vitters at No. 2 in the first round of the draft. It all just goes to show you why picking state players of the years should be left to those who really know how to do it (CalHiSports.com) instead of those who don’t (Gatorade, SI.com & Rise Magazine).
Even after hitting .427 with 14 homers and 47 RBI as a junior, Moustakas displayed more strength at the plate as a senior and according to scouts really became adept at going toward the opposite field. He finished with career bests of .577 for batting average, 56 for hits, 24 for home runs, 59 for RBI and a 1.474 slugging percentage. Moustakas only struck out twice all year and received 28 walks.
For his career, the two-time L.A. City Player of the Year set another state record with 52 home runs, going past the previous record by five. He also ended with 176 career RBI, 172 career runs, 178 career hits and 43 career doubles. All of those totals are at least No. 8 on the all-time state list.
To top it all off, Moustakas even showed he could pitch when asked. He came into six games as a reliever with 18 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings and earned three saves. One gun at one of those game clocked him at 97 mph.
Wit all that, it’s no wonder the Kansas City Royals couldn’t pass on Moustakas with the second pick in the draft, which also made him the first high school player nationally to be chosen. The Royals once had a Californian named George Brett for many years as their third baseman. Moustakas could be a third baseman, too, and wouldn’t it be something if he could be one day playing in the same spot at Royals Stadium where Brett once stood.