This afternoon the Seattle Mariners promoted pitching prospect Andrew Moore to the major league roster. Here’s a quick take.
Andrew Moore was an extremely successful starting pitcher for Oregon State University, posting a 27-9 record over 48 starts and three relief outings in 2013, 2014, and 2015, with an excellent 251/75 K/BB in 348 innings. Despite his success some scouts were lukewarm due to a marginal fastball and rated him as something like a sixth round pick. The Mariners disagreed and drafted him in the second compensation round in ‘15.
He’s continued mowing down pro hitters, with a 2.65 ERA in 163 innings last year between High-A and Double-A. Moore ranked eighth on the pre-season Seattle Mariners Top 20 Prospects for 2017 list with the following comment:
8) Andrew Moore, RHP, Grade B-: Age 22, compensation round pick in 2015 from Oregon State; posted 2.65 ERA with 133/31 K/BB in 163 innings between High-A and Double-A, 148 hits; fastball peaks at 93 and is usually right at 91; however it plays up due to his command; mixes in curve, slider, change-up; none of his pitches individually grade more than average but his pitching instincts are exceptional; on paper a future number four starter, but don’t under-estimate him. ETA 2018.
The ETA has been moved up obviously, thanks to continued excellent pitching: a 2.72 ERA in 83 innings this year between Double-A and Triple-A with a combined 77/17 K/BB and just 66 hits allowed. He has a 44/8 K/BB in 48 innings since moving up to Tacoma.
Moore is listed at 6-0, 185, born January 2nd, 1994. The scouting report hasn’t changed much since college: he tops out at 93 and works at 90-91. The fastball plays up however due to his large arsenal of secondary pitches (Brooks Baseball credits him with a slider, curve, change-up, and splitter), pinpoint command, and “I’m not scared of you” mound presence.
Kate Preusser and John Trupin at Looking Landing have a detailed breakdown of Moore’s arsenal, complete with video, focusing in particular on his change-up.
Hot fastball or not, Moore gets people out. He’ll need to be especially sharp against major league hitters, but so far he hasn’t found a level that he can’t master. It is easy to write guys like this off as “just” fourth starters, but Moore could very well exceed those expectations.
Don’t underestimate him.