Sleeper Report: Rookies
Matt Moore – SP- Rays
Baseball America recently tabbed Moore as the No. 2 prospect in the league after Washington’s Bryce Harper, so the word “Sleeper” is hardly to correct term, but for those just checking in, Matt Moore should be on your draft radar.
Moore did pitch in 2011 for the Rays making 3 appearances, including 1 start and finished 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 9.1 innings. More impressively manager Joe Maddon chose Matt Moore to open the 2011 playoffs for the Tampa Bay Rays. He went on to dominate the Texas Rangers, allowing two hits over seven innings and striking out six in a 9-0 victory, Tampa Bay’s only win of the playoffs.
Moore dominated the minor leagues striking out an incredible 700 batters in 497 innings with a 2.64 ERA in his short career.
Moore is a southpaw with a rare premium fastball and plus offspeed pitches, yet his best pitch is a plus-plus high 70s curveball, featuring sharp, late break and ridiculous spin. The negative is this does tend to lead to higher pitch counts, wild pitches and walks. He throws both a four-seamer and a two-seamer fastball, and both pitches feature fantastic movement and top out at about 94 mph.
The Rays signed Moore to a contract extension, the biggest deal ever granted a pitcher with less than a year of service time. He could make as much as $40 million over the next eight seasons if he earns all of the incentives. He is the real deal, it is just a matter of how real and how soon.