Sunday, April 29, 2012

5 things to know about Tyler Moore

As you might have seen, 1B/OF prospect Tyler Moore is on his way to Los Angeles the big leagues to make his ML debut, as Mark DeRosa has (mercifully) been sent to the DL. I've historically not been a big fan of Moore as a true prospect, but this is the perfect opportunity to get him some AB's to show what he can do. Here are 5 things to know about Moore before he plays in his first game.

1 - He is an excellent platoon candidate with Adam LaRoche.
Moore, a right-handed hitter, is absolutely annihilating left-handed pitching this season. In 20 plate appearances, he's hitting .421/.450/.789 with 2 HR and 6 RBI. While LaRoche is hitting .389/.450/.611 vs LHP this season, he is a career .249/.306/.436 against them. To get the most value about of Moore (as well as LaRoche), Davey should go with a platoon situation where Moore starts at 1B vs LHP and gets additional playing time with spot starts in the outfield and pinch hitting opportunities.

2 - He has aesome power. Not awesome. Aesome.
Along with Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt and Moore are the only players to hit 30+ HR in both 2010 and 2011. Moore's career ISO is .221, which is very impressive. Tyler Moore doesn't have above average tools across the board, but he can definitely hit the crap out of the ball.

3 - His plate discipline is improving slowly.
Plate discipline is the reason I wasn't a huge fan of Moore in the first place. Striking out roughly 4 times per every walk is a recipe for disaster once players start facing pitchers at the MLB level who attack weaknesses. While it is a very small sample size, Moore has walked 10 times in his first 22 games in AAA against 20 strikeouts, improving his BB% from a previous career high of 8.4% (and 5.3% last year) up to 11% this season. He's striking out at his normal high rate, but the higher walk rate makes it tolerable. There is a huge difference between the value of a .270/.310/.500 hitter and a .270/.340/.500 hitter.

4 - He's a better fielder than you might expect.
Moore is not just a right-handed Adam Dunn. While his range in the outfield leaves something to be desired, he's a sure-handed 1B who won't kill you in the outfield.

MASN's Byron Kerr in March talked to Nationals outfield coordinator Tony Tarasco:
"I don't expect Tyler Moore to wow you (in the outfield), but I do expect Tyler Moore to make the routine plays. And with his baseball intellect, he is the type guy who will throw the ball to the right base. He is going to make sure he doesn't miss cutoff men, the little pet peeves that haunt baseball teams (if those plays aren't made) during the season when they are trying to win baseball games."

5 - He is a polarizing player.
He's not just a right-handed Adam Dunn, but do you remember how polarizing Adam Dunn was? Not everybody loves guys that strike out a lot, even if they hit a ton of home runs. As I said before, I haven't been a big fan of Moore due to his poor walk rate. If his early 2012 improvement in plate discipline drops back to his 2011 (or even 2012 spring training, where he found a way to have a .296 batting average and .286 OBP and no, that's not a typo), he's basically a 1 tool player. That tool is aesome, but the rest leaves something to be desired, and he'll always have detractors.

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