Mike Moustakas sees a championship caliber team in Cincinnati and is ready to help them win a World Series this year.
Moustakas, who played with the Milwaukee Brewers last year, said he saw what was developing with the Reds the last several years and saw a lot of top notch talented and wanted to be a part of it despite Cincinnati suffering through its six straight losing season.
“Being on the other side of the diamond the last couple of years and seeing what these guys did on a daily basis and how much passion and joy they play with and the type of team they are and how they play together obviously was very attractive to me,” said Moustakas at the Reds caravan stop in Lima Friday.
Moustakas added that he saw the same type of qualities in the Kansas City teams that he played for with including the 2015 World Series winning squad as well as the Brewers club he was with last year that went 89-73 and gained a wild card berth.
“Being from Kansas City and coming from Milwaukee we had that kind of team, and that kind of togetherness, that kind of family vibe that feels like this group has and I was excited to join that,” the three-time all-star said. “I wanted to become part of this team for a few years to come.”
Moustakas, who primarily played second base, had 35 home runs with 87 RBI and a .254 batting average. Moustakas, nicknamed the “Moose,” had a .516 slugging percentage with an .854 OPS.
The left-handed hitting Moustakas should provide some additional punch to an already formidable hitting lineup that features Eugenio Suarez, Joey Votto and Aristedes Aquino.
Moustakas sees his role as the every day second baseman. However, Reds manager David Bell did mention that because of his versatility and the talents of the other infielders, Moustakas could be moved play some third base depending on the situation.
“I was speaking he told me to go out there and be myself. He says I’ll fit in well with these guys and being at Redsfest and on the caravan and I feel that is true. ,” he said. “Being able to get to know these guys and getting to know my teammates has been a lot of fun. I can’t wait to get to spring training and getting to know them a little bit better.”
Moustakas said he has enjoyed talking with Bell extensively during the caravan and feels they are on the same page.
“Dave is incredible and he has an incredible family and I am just excited to be a part of this,” said. Moustakas, who also praised the efforts of the front office for bolstering the lineup and being committed to bringing a winner to Cincinnati.
On his caravan stops, Moustakas has also seen the enthusiasm from Reds fans and is looking forward to playing at Great American Ball Park.
“The distances they travel to watch us play baseball is incredible,” Moustakas said.
In addition to being a solid bat, Bell said Moustakas is a solid teammate and he expects to see him as a positive influence in the clubhouse.
“No. 1 he is a good player,” Bell said. “He is maturing as a hitter and continues to get better. He has power and is increasing his on-base the last couple of years. He is a great teammate and he makes people better. He has the experience of playing in a world series and winning a world series and having someone like that raises the expectations of everyone else and that is something you can’t teach or create.”
Moustakas said he does not set any personal goals, however, he said the main team goal is to win a championship.
“We have one goal and that is to win a world series,” Moustakas said. “I have said that on every team I’ve been on and it is true here as well. We have a great pitching staff here top to bottom. The lineup is incredible. There has been some great additions. Shogo (Akiyama), Wade (Miley) and they say they are still not done so it is exciting to see a team that wants to win right now and be a part of it.
“I have said this before I only have one goal every time I step on a field and that is to win the ball game and I never set any statistic goals. I don’t do that just because if I keep my mind set on what is important and that is winning a world series and everything else will take care of itself. As long as I do that the numbers will be there at the end.”