If you have frequented these parts for a while, you know that we don’t get excited about a prospect until he has shown us something above the single-A level. So consider us officially excited about Matt Moore.

Last night, Moore had 11 strikeouts in 6 shuout innings. He has now struck out 76 of the 209 batters he has faced this season.

Let us repeat: 76 of the 209 (36.4%) batters that have gone to the plate against Moore this season, walked back to the dugout with the head hanging low.

Of course, striking out batters is nothing new for the 15th best prospect in baseball. Moore has led the minors in strikeouts each of the last two seasons. And last year he became the first minor leaguer in five years to top 200 strikeouts.

The strikeouts are nice. But how about the rest of his numbers. Let’s take a look at his year-by-year progression…

What is most impressive here is not only the consistency with the strikeouts, but the consistency coupled with improved control. His strikeouts per 9 innings (K/9) have been eerily steady. But his walks per 9 innings (BB/9) are at a career-low this season. This translates to an obsene 5.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio (K:BB). Anything above 3.0 is generally considered very good.

Of course, this has led to some calling for Moore to be promoted to the big leagues immediately. That’s not going to happen. The Rays are typically patient with their starting pitchers*. 

We would be surprised if we see Moore in a Rays uniform before September of 2012. But in the meantime, let’s get excited about what may be the best pitching prospect yet, in what is turning out to be a long line of great pitching prospects.

Dude is just plain nasty. Mr. Nasty for the batters in the Southern League.

*David Price was rushed a bit, but he had three years of experience in college.

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6 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    The better control is really impressive. I would imagine that AA is filled with hard-throwing strike out pitchers who lack control.

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  2. Amy says:

    Saw him play last season down in Single A he was amazing but as any great Rays pitcher now a days he lost the game because he had no run support.

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  3. phil says:

    projected to be in the rotation by 2013 ...triple aaa in 2012 and available to back up the rotation in 2012!

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  4. Derek says:

    Not that it is all that important, but I can see him getting some spot starts next year before Sept and depending on the bullpen, at the end of the year, we could even see him in September this year.

    At this rate, there is almost no way he spends more than half the year in AA. One start with more than five hits, and one start with more than two walks. It's just insane. Gave a hit to the leadoff hitter last night. The hitter was thrown out trying to steal second, Matt Moore strikes the other two batters out. He didn't let another batter reach till the fifth, when he walked a guy with one out. Strikes the next two batters out.

    None of his strikeouts were called, all but two were swinging, and those two were foul tips.

    Three hits. Two of which came in the sixth. One was a bunt popup, that I guess Moore didn't get to in time. The other was a popup to second, and I guess O'Malley messed it up? Either way. Naassssssstyyyyy. Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaam. Green Eggs and haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam

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  5. Joe says:

    This guy is on another level.

    I think he should go to Durham soon, he once again is getting no challenge in AA. Also if he spends enough time in AAA this year, he can fight for a job next Spring.

    I know how amazing Price is, how dominant Shields looks and the incredibly high potential of Hellickson but this man can be our ace one day. Just an amazing arm.

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  6. Why don't they send Sonnenstein down to AA and bring the kid up to the Big Show until the Giraffe's arm gets better. He couldn't do any worse than Sonny.

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