OK, a short and sweet thread for Christmas eve eve.
I have been doing some stat surfing for Andrew Moore. As you know, I really like the kid and his upside. Oh, he will never K a bunch of guys, but he will get a bunch of guys out.
So here's what I found:
1. Andrew Moore has a heck of a heater. In fact in '17, Moore's fastball was as good as James Paxton's. Not in terms of velocity, of course, but in terms of run suppression.
2. Moore's off-speed repetoire got beat up, sort of like Bartolo Colon's. Ergo, Mike Zunino needs to quit wiggling multiple fingers when Moore is on the mound and just put one of them down.
3. In terms of exit velocity allowed, Moore got creamed last year. But in terms of "Barrels," Moore really didn't. "Barrels" are a new Statcast metric, found over on Baseball Savant, that identify how often a pitcher gives up a batted ball with a velocity/launch angle combination that would historically give up a minimum batting average of .500 and a Slg. % of 1.500 (although all "Barrels" gave up a .822 BA and 2.386 Slg% in'16) Moore gave up a bunch of homers last year, but not a huge bunch of barrels per batted ball event. His homer rate, 2.1/9, 11.3% of flyballs in '17, had to be a bit of bad mojo.
Here we go:
1. Moore's fastball averages a pedestrian 91.2 MPH, but it runs a Pitch Value wFB/C (how many runs better than average it is, over 100 offerings) of +1.47. Comparitively, that equals Paxton's 1.50, even though Paxton was chucking his heater up there at 96 MPH. After his initial go-round, it looks like Moore has a + fastball and that must be tied to his ability to locate it with laser-guided precision. Control, after all, is Moore's calling card. He just doesn't walk folks (1.2/9, very Colon-like; 1.1 career/1.1 in ‘16)
2. Moore's Curve/Slider/Change w/C were -2.63/-2.46/-1.22. Not pretty, huh? Bartolo Colon's numbers in '16 (a pretty good season for him) were 0/-2.31/-3.49 (he didn't offer up the curveball) and his FB was only +0.52. But during that '16 season Colon ran an ERA of 3.43 and a record of 15-8. The difference? Colon threw 89.5% FB's, 5.9% sliders and 4.6%changeups. He just didn't throw weaker pitches. Moore? He threw only 52.4% FB and then 15.5% curves, 13.5 % sliders and 18.6% changeups. Look at it this way, Colon's FB was 3 MPH slower than Moore's and far less effective, yet he relied on it almost exclusively. His weak offerings he offered up only about once in every 10 pitches he threw. Moore was chucking up his weak stuff nearly 1/2 the time, despite a dominating FB. Hey, Moore was a rookie, I'm not blaming him for not shaking of Zunino more often. Methuselah Colon has the experience/presence to do that, but not a rookie. Somewhere, somebody, either Zunino or the stat guys, were missing the obvious; Moore was good when he threw his fastball and not good when he didn't, yet he threw the other stuff 1/2 the time. I wrote the other day that Moore has to learn to miss off the plate....and it sure looks like that with his bendy stuff. And he needs to throw it a whole lot less often. Stottlemyre and Zunino need to pattern him after Bartolo Colon.
3. Moore gave up an Average Exit Velocity of 90.3 MPH last year, that was 21st worst of all pitchers with a minimum of 30 Batted Ball Events. There were 612 of those guys in the bigs last season, btw. Weirdly, Moore's avg. HR distance allowed was only 391 feet (yet he still had a high homer rate). 495 guys were worse than that. He was essentially in the TOP 20% in that statistic. In terms of Brls/BBE, Moore allowed a barrel every 6.9 BBE's. That was well better than average, putting him in about the top 40% overall. For example, Sonny Gray gave up one every 6.2 BBE's. In total, Moore gave up a barrel every 5.8 PA's, which was in the BOTTOM 16% off all pitchers. Remember, he K's less than 5 guys a game, so he's giving up more BBE's. So he was better than average in terms of brls/BBE but way worse than average in terms of brls/PA.
Conclusion: Moore's FB was clearly a plus offering. It was WAY better than Edwin Diaz's (+0.29 wFB/c) yet Diaz threw his up there 69% of the time, WAY more often than Moore. The velocity numbers he gives up, and the barrels, have to come primarily from his off-speed offerings. The math has to add up that way. Yet he's being asked to throw off-speed stuff nearly 50% of the time. Hey, somebody was messing up and missing the Bartolo Colon template for Moore. Oh, I'm sure Moore didn't bury his bendy stuff nearly enough, and hopefully that comes with experience, but the evidence is pretty clear: Whoever was quarterbacking Moore's game was doing a pretty lousy job in play (pitch) calling. Eliminate one of the offspeed offerings (curveball) and wiggle just one finger a whole bunch more.
Fix THAT, guys, and you've got a ready made productive starter.....even before he gets way better with the swervy stuff misses.
Here's hoping Moore or another of the "hope they break out" guys does in fact break out. It would sure help the team prognosis.
He's got that great Ohtani (gasp) rise and cut, one that keeps pitch stalkers from getting their wallets involved. Right now that's the best thing going for him, the FB shape. Next up, the change, next next up the makeup, after that the control and then "accenting" with the tease slider and change curve.
Long term he's got my money :- )
In the short term, drop the curve and accentuate the FB frequency.
And thanks, Doc.....I was hoping you would jump in on his heater’s shape. There, I had not done the look-it-up that I should have.