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Fellow stud prospect Matt Moore has taken a backseat to Bryce Harper and Mike Trout so far

Jun 5, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

Matt Moore Getty Images

Coming into the season three prospects stood out above all the rest: Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, Angels outfielder Mike Trout, and Rays left-hander Matt Moore.

Every major prospect analyst had them 1-2-3 on their list, with the only differences being the order. Baseball America ranked them Harper, Moore, Trout. ESPN.com ranked them Trout, Harper, Moore. Baseball Prospectus ranked them Moore, Harper, Trout.

Harper and Trout have been making headlines all season by performing remarkably well for a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old, but Moore has mostly gone unnoticed in Tampa Bay despite the fact that he’s pitching pretty damn well for a 22-year-old.

He got off to a slow start and has a misleadingly ugly 2-5 record, but after six strong innings against the Orioles on Sunday he has a 4.45 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 63 innings overall. That isn’t going to bump Harper or Trout off the front page, but in the grand scheme of things a 22-year-old rookie striking out a batter per inning with a decent ERA bodes extremely well for his future.

Moore just happened to be a rookie during a season in which two of the best prospects in recent memory are also rookies and have thrived immediately. Don’t be surprised if he finishes the season with numbers that would make him a viable Rookie of the Year candidate in many years and don’t be surprised if he’s still an ace very soon.

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Moore got off the slow starts in the minors as well.

  2. jehzsa - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Matt Moore always starts “slow”. He’s a prime candidate for Winter League baseball.

    However, it is highly doubtful that the Rays’ FO will allow him to play during the offseason.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    There is a 21 year old rookie pitcher in Toronto who is pitching better than Moore.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      The one who has given up 43 hits in his last 5 starts (31 innings)?
      Amazing you would even try to go there, Henderson’s last 5 starts have been rotten while Moore’s last 5 are supremely better.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        Drew Hutchinson

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        Ohh Drew “2nd time round the order, look out for 3rd time” Hutchinson being named in the same breath as Matt Moore, funny funny stuff.

        2 starts good starts recently and lets talk about him with the likes of future all stars

  4. paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Moore hasn’t been pitching particularly well. His 4.45 ERA is pretty representative of his performance, with an xFIP of 4.46. His GB rate is very low (39%) and he’s walking 4.5 batters per 9 IP. Still not efficient with his pitches. With his currently fly ball rate, he’s lucky he’s pitching in Tampa 1/2 the time.

    Moore has been a below average pitcher, Trout and Harper have been hitting like star players (both with OBP north of .380 and both slugging in the mid .500s).

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      You missed the whole point about getting past his well known slow starts and talking about recent performance.

      • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        First, that is post hoc narrative whooey. Moore doesn’t have a long enough track record to have established “well known slow starts”.

        Second, the sample over a month isn’t enough to say anything conclusively. His results were a bit better in May than in April, but he still walked too many guys (10%) and had too low a GB% (<40%) to be an above average pitcher.

        Third, 8 of his last 9 starts have been at home…a huge advantage for pitchers…and he has only been okay.

        I'm not saying he won't be great….but so far, he's still been a below average MLB pitcher this year.

  5. dorbs345 - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    How about Wilin Rosario and Kyle Seager?! Two Rookies that should be in the ROY conversations!

  6. mattintoledo - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    I WILL be surprised if he’s an ace soon. I WILL. You can’t take that away from me, Aaron.

  7. nflfollower - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Age is a big factor here. Trout and harper are a few years younger. Heck, there’s a 23 year old pitcher in Detroit who’s already won 41 big league games. So the fact that Moore is 22, in addition to the season he’s having, make it much less impressive than harper and trout.

    • vprkilr - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:00 PM

      Not if you consider the fact that the Rays have had a plethora of pitching in the minors along with a young and solid starting pitching.

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