Last year many fans, including myself, were skeptical of the trade Cardinal’s management made for Brandon Moss. Now, almost a year later, lets explore whether or not that skepticism was right. Hint, the answer is a resounding NO.
On July 30th, 2015, the Cardinal’s traded their number five prospect, LHP Rob Kaminsky, to the Cleveland Indians, and in return received the struggling and aging Brandon Moss. The trade at the time made some sense; the Cardinals needed a player who could play first-base and provide some power off their bench, as they struggled with their ability to hit home-runs. A big debate erupted throughout Cardinals Nation on whether or not Moss was the right answer for these issues.
Before the trade, Moss showed that he possessed some pop in his bat. In his 94 games with Cleveland in the 2015 season, Moss hit 15 homers. However, during that same span of time he was batting a mere .217. This stat in particular put a lot of people in a frenzy; why would John Mozelaik trade for 31 year old player who was batting .217?
Many people, including myself, also questioned whether or not it was worth giving up our number five prospect. Before the trade, in 2014, Rob Kaminsky went 8-2 with a 1.88 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in AA. At this time, it was believed that Kaminsky wasn’t too far away from making it to the big league level. So when he was traded for an aging low-average Brandon Moss, a very skeptical outlook made sense.
However, a year later, GM John Mozeliak looks like a genius once again.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 1, 2016
This season, Brandon Moss is batting .255, and has already homered 17 times. He also possessses an AB:HR ratio of 11.9. If Moss qualified, that would be the best in all of baseball by a pretty significant amount. Rob Kaminsky, on the other hand, has gone 2-5 with an ERA of 4.43 at the AA level.
Moss, despite not playing all the time, has undoubtably been one of the Cardinal’s biggest contributors of the season. His WRC+ so far this season is the second highest of his career and the second highest on the team, and his OPS of .926 is the second highest of his career and currently the third highest on the team. In addition, he holds a season Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 1.3, which is the fourth highest on the team. This is pretty incredible considering he has at least 59 plate appearances less than any player above him.
If these outcomes aren’t an incredible testament to the magic Mozeliak secretly possesses, then I don’t know what is. Time and time again, Mo seems to make right move after right move.
Photo Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports