Prospect of the Day: Jeremy Moore, OF, Los Angeles Angels
Angels outfield prospect Jeremy Moore is a good example of the complex interaction between a player's tools and his skills.
Jeremy Moore was drafted by the Angels in the sixth round in 2005, from high school in Vivian, Louisiana. He was a multiple sport star in high school, and rather raw as a baseball player, but the Angels felt his power/speed combination was worthy of development. It took him two years to get out of the Arizona Rookie League, then in 2007 he hit .272 with 14 homers and 17 steals for Orem in the Pioneer League.
Promoted to Low-A Cedar Rapids for '08, he hit just .240 and struck out 125 times with just 21 walks in 362 at-bats, but he also hit 12 triples and 17 homers while stealing 28 bases. He hit .279/.330/.443 with 11 homers and 17 steals for High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2009, then .303/.358/.463 with 10 triples, 13 homers, and 24 steals last year for Double-A Arkansas.
This year for Triple-A Salt Lake, Moore is hitting .299/.334/.541 with 23 doubles, 15 triples, 14 homers, 17 steals, and a 20/107 BB/K ratio in 394 at-bats.
The 24-year-old Moore is a left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, listed at 6-1, 190 pounds. His only weak physical tool is a substandard throwing arm, although this hasn't stopped the Angels from using him in right field frequently. He is very fast and can handle center field without difficulty. He'll make errors on defense, but his range is a major asset.
His speed also shows up on offense, particularly with the large number of triples he hits. He's exceeded double-digits in triples for four consecutive seasons. He is still refining his baserunning skills to go with the speed tool and isn't a terrific percentage stealer, although his ratios are improving. Unlike many speedy players, Moore has legitimate gap power and will knock occasional home runs.
Moore's biggest problem is plate discipline. His swing is mechanically sound, but he is overaggressive and seldom draws walks, hampering his OBP and reducing the value of his speed at the top of an order. A .299 batting average and .334 OBP aren't that impressive for Salt Lake and the Pacific Coast League, and with his current approach he would be hard-pressed to duplicate these numbers in the majors.
That said, Moore's toolset stands out, and his combination of speed, occasional power, and defensive ability is tempting. The flaws in his skills give him a high risk factor, but even a small amount of progress in his hitting approach could take him a long way.