I suspect Moore has a swing and miss change that you don't see at elevation in dry hot air.
We've mentioned that a good AA/AAA pitcher has to have SOME thing he does EXCELLENTLY if he wants the bright lights and big city. Cha Seung Baek kinda had four pitches and he did everything decently. That's a good PCL pitcher. A quality American League pitcher has a bread-and-butter weapon of SOME kind -- amazing command, or a parachute changeup, or something.
Dr. D purports to list a handful! of things Andrew Moore does better than AAA pitchers do them. But hey now, Andrew Moore is not the 19-year-old Felix Hernandez. He's not on any top 10 prospect lists. There has to be something wrong. Those things could be:
Moore only got one swing-and-miss among his 50 excellent pitches Saturday. Strikeouts are necessary. This is not a burial; it's an interesting topic for discussion.
We saw three innings. (True, they were three innings that matched the saber statement of Moore's 1+ walk rate in AA last year.) But in fairness, we can't imagine that Moore goes 12-for-13 on King Felix (TM) sequences every time out.
CAVEAT 3, DOESN'T COUNT
It's not an advantage to be short. On the other hand, Moore's arm slot is so over-the-top that his release point is actually higher than average.
PLUS WEAPONS, ANDREW MOORE
Any one or two of the below would be enough. Well, usually they would. Moore's weapons are "soft" weapons and he probably needs like 3 of them to be true.
1. King Felix (TM) Pitch Sequences get batters out. You are an SSI Denizen and you know baseball; you don't need further documentation of this claim.
2. The scouts swear up-and-down that Moore has a swing-and-miss changeup. I didn't see that except once. Topic for discussion, as it were. This was the rookie Doug Fister: move the fastball around, throw a parachute change.
3. Moore had 4 clear, separate pitches. Having four pitches, if they are really pitches, that is a separator. Ryan Franklin had success for NO other reason.
4. Moore commanded his offspeed pitches. Orel Hershiser rule: command one pitch compete, command two pitches win, command three pitches dominate. Well, he commanded the slider; often he commanded the split; he didn't command his changeup.
5. His pitch sequences are RANDOMIZED. He's as likely to throw a slow curve on the hands as he is to throw a ladder fastball as he is to throw a split in the dirt, and any of them on the first pitch. Mike Marshall Doctrine, 33-33-33 Throw Dice Before the Game. No, honestly, gentlemen, this kid has the guts of a burglar and he will throw WHATEVER is not expected at the time. You don't need ten starts to establish something like this. It's an attitude, a mindset, and he has it.
The next four count for one-half of a bullet point each. Remember, if all these 9 things add to 2.5 or 3.0 things that Moore can actually do, then Andrew Moore is a big league pitcher.
6. Andrew Moore had excellent "cut" on his pitches. Here is the movement chart from Saturday. Notice that the fastball rises and moves in on a lefty hitter, compared to the norm. Any movement that is not "average" keeps the pitch from looking "straight."
7. Moore has a Tim Lincecum windup, super high front side, and throws with a remarkably vertical backspin (causing the cut gloveside, of course). Excellent deception. Also, scouts love overhand pitchers.
8. Moore works very fast, with great confidence. This is a classic scouting grade "Pitches with a lot of confidence," attacking the hitters and keeping them on their heels.
9. They said Moore throws a slowball. He actually threw 90-94 and had nice life. Right about where Ryan Franklin was.
FASTBALL - cuts, has life, and we're here to tell you he can hit the mitt.
CHANGEUP - minus 8 MPH on his fastball and the scouts say it's really good. Can't confirm. The shape of the pitch was WEIRD on Saturday; it looked like a humpback power curve and it was usually up.
SLIDER - 85 MPH, average-solid pitch and he was locating it. Hisashi Iwakuma slider. In fact Andrew Moore did many things similar to Iwakuma, and did them better. Iwakuma couldn't have located like Moore did Saturday. ('Kuma has the wipeout shuuto, the reliable ladder fastball and the MLB Wisdom (TM).
SPLITFINGER - Some sources call this a 78 MPH version of the changeup; Brooks classes it as a forkball. It moved like a forkball. The movement chart is linked. Per the flight of the ball, Moore had four very distinct pitches, although we don't know if he grips the "split" differently. Does it matter?
IF WE HAD OUR DRUTHERS
Moore would have kept the changeup and splitfinger more consistently low, to break down out of the zone. Maybe that would be the key to strikeouts; maybe it HAS BEEN the key to strikeouts. Maybe that's the kind of refinement Dipoto will want to see at Tacoma.
If Moore's next three outings were just like Saturday's, and he got a 6.0K level of swings and misses, then he would be a Doug Fister class Best Bet. Hey, it's three innings. :- ) But guess what, LrKrBoi29. We were specific about what we like here. No?
Good 'put, Matt. I remember people talking about elevation having a bigger negative impact of splitters/change-ups than other pitches in some article I read five-ish years ago.
It cuts vertical break in half. If your pitches need vertical break, you will die in the desert at eelevation
:- ) Juicy stuff Matt.
What, did you sign a nondisclosure or sumpin' that you don't do more of this shtick?
....the point guard/QB attack mode. Moore pitches like he's the best athlete on the field. Not the fastest runner, highest jumper, or biggest basher, but the best all-around athlete out there.
I don't really know if he is...but that's the way he pitches. "I've got all this stuff and it's good. What have you got?"
He throws in Seattle this season.
or maybe this is what Ryan Franklin's control looked like after he made the full-time switch to the 'pen?
Either way, that's a valuable piece of any team's puzzle. Not the guy you want taking the hill to start games in a short series, but one of those guys whose presence can make-or-break your season based on injuries and underwhelming performances from key contributors.
Is a turn of phrase both resonant and desirable from (one of) our pro novelists. Franklin's ERA+ was 104, we notice, in 1200 big league innings.
If Andrew Moore is good, you gotta like his chances to pitch many innings also. His delivery is great for that.
++ I've got this and it's good. What have you got? ++
Did you pick that up walking down the first fairway somewhere, or did you come up with that one?
There is such a fluidity to his motion that I love watching his highlights. He's not "manufactured" in some baseball acadamy. Moore's got that "Roy Hobbs" smoothness, were Roy Hobbs a pitcher. He was the Oregon Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore in HS, leading his team to the state championship. He won the award again the next season. When he didn't pitch in HS he was the team's SS, hitting .400. He was Player of the Year as a Senior. That same year he also made the All-State team as a SS. He was an All-American as a freshman at Oregon State.
By all accounts, he's a first rate guy, as well.
Would almost bet that Moore is terrific at flipping cards into a hat, ping pong, shooting FT's, anything requiring dexterity and finesse. Would also bet he surprises people with his flexibility and pumps decent iron for a "little" guy. Here's a neat question/answer from a January issue of Building the Dam, a Beaver baseball site:
Q: I hear you have become really close with Jamie Moyer, can you elaborate on what all he has taught you ?
A: I have had some great conversations with Jamie. We first met last year at Spring Training and have talked about 4 or 5 times since then. He has given me some great insight on how to approach throwing to different types of hitters you'll face and other ways to game plan going into a start. The biggest thing I have taken away from Jamie was his mindset in a big game or tight situation in a game. He told me that he always tried to throw slower whenever the stage got big. This would help slow the game down, calm down his body and mind, and not get away from his strength which was location and messing with the hitter's timing. He has been a great resource that I hope to work with more in the future.
A quote from Andy McKay, in a February artile from the Eugene (Moore's hometown) Register Guard: “Andrew has never not pitched well in his entire life, going back to high school,” Seattle player personnel director Andy McKay told MLB.com. “He’s been an incredibly consistent performer and behind the numbers is a very competitive, high-character person. People who keep getting people out and winning games tend to keep moving up and being rewarded that way. I have no doubt in my mind how the story is going to end for Andrew. I think it’s going to be a very good one for him and us.”
He's good, confident and grounded. He throws in Seattle this year.