Brandon Moss was so good last year that he knocked on the door of the top 200 (he ranked 224th) despite getting fewer than 300 plate appearances.
No one in their right mind expects the same power we saw last year on a per-at-bat basis, but Moss’ sudden success in his age-28 season was no fluke. He struggled early in his major league career with the Red Sox and Pirates, but back-to-back seasons in triple-A in 2010 and 2011 saw Moss club 22 and 23 homers, respectively.
Last season he displayed fly ball tendencies for the first time in his career (0.72 GB:FB ratio, 45.8 FB%) and had the strength to muscle 25.9% of those flies out of the park. I expect Moss to stick with what worked last year (hitting fly balls) but I don’t think it will work quite as well (his HR/FB will definitely drop dramatically).
At a Glance
Strengths: HR, SLG
Neutral: R, BA, RBI, OBP, OPS
Best-case scenario: Anthony Rizzo (CHC)
Likely scenario: Cody Ross (ARI), Logan Morrison (MIA), Garrett Jones (PIT)
Worst-case scenario: Lucas Duda (NYM)
Brandon Moss 2013 Fantasy Projection
Thankfully, Moss will see a lot of at-bats this year as Oakland’s projected cleanup hitter. He’ll play primarily against right-handed pitchers with Chris Carter spelling him against lefties, and he shouldn’t have a hard time approaching 500 plate appearances.
One of the nice side effects of having a .359 BABIP and a 25.9% HR/FB rate is an abnormally high batting average, and sure enough Moss posted a very unlike-Moss .291 average last year. That mark — .291 — was actually the highest Moss had hit at any level in his pro career in any number of plate appearances (he couldn’t even pull off a fluky .333 average by going like 2-for-6 in any of his short stints).
With a little BABIP regression and a lot more of those just enough homers becoming long fly outs, Moss will definitely see a noticeable drop in batting average. We project he’ll hit .274. As for the R, HR, and RBI, that depends on how much he plays.