St. Louis Cardinals: Reasons for the Cards to avoid the Moose

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 28: Mike Moustakas
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 28: Mike Moustakas /
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St. Louis Cardinals
KANSAS CITY, MO – OCTOBER 21: A fan holding moose antlers is seen during Game One of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 21, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Jedd Gyorko is better than Mike Moustakas and already on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Jedd Gyorko had a great year last year.  He was a stud defensively ranking in the top-5 or top-10 of all MLB third baseman last year.  Moustakas, meanwhile, was bad defensively, hurting his overall value gained from a great offensive campaign. And Gyorko is already on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Gyorko also had a superior offensive year by many metrics other than home runs.  Gyorko had a similar OPS+ to Moustakas in 23 fewer games.  Gyorko also dwarfed Moustakas in OBP, posting a .341 number to .314 by Moustakas buoyed by Gyorko’s 13 more walks in fewer games.  But, Gyorko struck out more, had fewer hits (and far fewer extra-base base hits), while posting a lower slugging percentage.

Gyorko, however, grounded into far fewer double plays than Moustakas.  Yes, Moustakas is a slow moose, which calls his nickname into question because the average adult male moose can run up to 35 miles per hour and swim up to 6 miles per hour (both likely faster than Moustakas on the bases).

The stats show that Gyorko and Moustakas added similar value offensively, albeit in different ways:  Moustakas had more pop and extra-base hits and Gyorko got on base more – which gave only a slight edge in OPS+ to Moustakas.  The players had nearly identical wOBA.

The real separator here is Gyorko’s stellar defense and slightly better baserunning.  Gyorko adds defensive stability at the hot corner that Moustakas lacks.  Given that the players have similar offensive value – the defense and positional flexibility of Gyorko are a better fit for this team than Moustakas offers.