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Moss eyes more selective approach at plate

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPIRSE, Ariz. -- The Brandon Moss that Royals fans will see in 2017 will look a lot like the Brandon Moss they've seen from afar in recent years.

Moss will take mighty cuts at the plate, with intentions of reaching the gaps or beyond the fences.

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SURPIRSE, Ariz. -- The Brandon Moss that Royals fans will see in 2017 will look a lot like the Brandon Moss they've seen from afar in recent years.

Moss will take mighty cuts at the plate, with intentions of reaching the gaps or beyond the fences.

View Full Game Coverage

And he likely will strike out often.

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But Moss also pledges this: He will be more selective this season with hopes of driving up an on-base percentage that dipped in 2016 to .300, nearly 20 points below his career mark.

It doesn't mean Moss is going to ease off the throttle at the plate and make more contact.

"I want to be more selective and draw more walks," Moss said. "I'm no good when I just try to make contact. Strikeouts are still going to be there."

But by spitting on pitches out of the zone, Moss believes his on-base percentage should rise significantly.

"It should," he said. "I know what the root cause of [my low OBP] is -- when I go into a funk, I start swinging at more pitches for hits. Instead of being selective and finding a pitch to drive the ball, you're trying to get your average up -- and the only way to do that is get more hits, so you stop being selective.

"That's been my downfall the past couple of years. Instead of just staying selective when you get into a funk, I try to hit my way out of it. That doesn't work."

It has been well-documented that Moss' career took off when it was suggested to him as he was toiling in the Minors that he should take his hitting approach from the batting cages -- where he swung to drive the ball or hit homers on every attempt -- to the game.

Since adopting that philosophy, Moss has averaged nearly 25 home runs a season the past five years. That power was the main attraction for the Royals.

But Moss believes he can contribute more than just home runs -- he wants to draw more walks to help the team.

"Look, I wish I was Mike Trout or some of the other guys in this locker room," Moss said. "But my contact ability isn't the same as these guys. I have to choose.

"I have to be selective and not sell out. Stay on your legs and get a pitch to drive. There are times you try to just make contact -- runner on third and infield back, hit a ground ball to second and the run scores.

"But for the most part as a power hitter, you look for your pitch to drive. I just have to be more selective about that."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Brandon Moss