Monday, February 27, 2012

Brandon Moore of Arkansas University 2013 Draft Prospect?

I have been writing a lot on 2012 MLB draft prospects at seattlesportscentral.com (as well as on this blog), but as Brandon Moore isn't eligible to be drafted until the 2013 draft, I decided to put it on here. Moore is a sophomore pitcher at Arkansas, and here is a short video of him pitching against NorthWesternern State:

I watched him throw the first few innings in this game, and that is what I am going to give the scouting report off of. He has a good pick off move, but did make a throwing error in the game I watched (I have recently been thinking about how pitching defense is underrated). Moore gave up 4 runs in the second despite nothing hit very hard off of him, and ironically, the hardest hit ball in that inning end up being a warning track out. He didn't overwhelm me with swing and miss stuff but he did get a nice K on the bottom corner with a breaking ball. He knew how to put that pitch down low where it couldn't really hurt him and still get strikes. I would imagine he gets a good groundball rate. It still didn't seem like he got anyone to swing and miss, it just usually wasn't for good contact, which could very well be just the inferiority of the hitters, and it was an inferior lineup, as their best hitter was actually pitching. Moore didn't appear to have intimidating velocity, but reportedly throws around 90 MPH. According to Baseball Cube, Moore has 70 control, and is 64 against Power, but has just a 10 K-Rating. So just as my impression was in a couple innings of watching him, he doesn't strike out anyone, but the ball doesn't get hit that hard off him. Last year as a freshman, it proved to be effective, with a 3.45 ERA, and .38 HR/9IP despite striking out just 4.86 per 9 innings. My first reaction to someone not being able to strike anyone out like Moore is to dismiss them. Strikeouts have proven to be the most predictive pitching statistic, and it is hard to get runs if you can't hit the ball. The dismissal shouldn't be so quick though, as the Twins have traditionally always went after contact pitchers, and have had quite a bit of success (and one can think of a handful of pitchers who didn't strikeout people and were still successful, but strikeouts do matter). So as long as that contact is consistently soft contact, contact pitchers can survive. With that said, there are some problems with Moore. He isn't consistently getting soft contact, as he allowed more than a hit an inning, and had a WHIP of 1.32, making it seem like he was a beneficiary of a high LOB %. Moore is going to have to either miss more bats, or consistently give up softer contact (preferably both) to be a real legitimate big league prospect. 

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