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Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays
Moore or less a stud prospect
Naturally, the top pitching prospect in baseball may have some fantasy baseball value if he's on the Rays' major league roster. Tampa added him on Monday, and he made his debut on Wednesday, tossing 1 1/3 innings and yielding three hits (one home run), two runs and no walks while fanning a pair. A number of factors likely affected the 22-year-old in his first MLB appearance, but all things considered, he was impressive, as observers noted.
Moore has a free-and-easy windup that makes scouts drool. Those mechanics make success easier to repeat and should help him to avoid injury. It's thrilling when such form, as Baseball America points out, results in a late-breaking, mid-90s fastball that has crept into the upper 90s in relief; a very sharp hook; and a darting changeup that is well on its way to becoming his third nasty pitch.
Moore was nasty at Double-A Montgomery, going 8-3 with a 2.20 ERA, an 11.52 K/9 and a 2.46 BB/9 in 18 starts (102 1/3 frames). He then embarrassed Triple-A hitters in nine starts (52 2/3 innings) with Durham, going 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA, a 13.50 K/9 and a 3.08 BB/9. His limited time at Class AAA hasn't given the Rays to chance to see how he handles real adversity, however, and it's probably a disservice to Moore that he hasn't faced any.
Still, few pitchers have the tools that he has, and he'll be putting them to use in potentially crucial stanzas down the stretch for Tampa Bay. That won't matter much to roto players this year, but he's worth noting nonetheless. And, although the Rays are acutely aware of Moore's innings total this year, they don't appear to be overly concerned with his mark, other than to give him off an extra day after his first game.
The club hasn't ruled him out as a candidate to start one game of its twin bill with the New York Yankees this coming Wednesday, either. Although that's an intimidating matchup, it's unlikely to be one that spooks Moore. The southpaw isn't big-time 2011 fantasy, but if you haven't yet, it's time to become familiar with him.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Consider
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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