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.