Many of my regular readers may already know this, but I absolutely am a sucker for raw stuff. I can’t help it. Effortless velocity and sharp break are my favorite things in baseball and I can’t help but love the guys who bring this to the table. Obviously I am a fan of Trevor Bauer and Danny Duffy, two major stuff guys, but my favorite of all is Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Moore.
In my opinion, Moore has the second best raw ability in baseball behind only Justin Verlander. Despite turning in a roller coaster season for fantasy baseball owners last year, I think Moore is going to make a massive jump in 2013 and enter the pantheon of ultra elite starting pitchers.
It all starts with talent for Moore. He can easily bring it in the upper 90’s and has great off speed pitches to compliment the velocity. Physically, he’s the entire package. From my perspective, equally as impressive, is his mound composure. He seems to have great mound presence for a 23-year-old. He’s definitely more than just a thrower.
We’ve all seen Moore at his absolute best. He dominated the Texas Rangers in his postseason debut after making his Major League debut just 16 days prior. Against Texas, he went seven innings allowing just two hits and two walks to go along with his six strikeouts. He was dominant on the biggest stage as a 21-year-old rookie.
Last year, Moore inevitably went through some growing pains. He finished the year with decent numbers, but clearly took some enormous steps along the way. After putting a subpar start to the season behind him, he posted great months of July and August, going 6-2 with 62 strikeouts over that time frame. He posted a 2.19 ERA in August.
While it may be unreasonable for us to expect Moore to challenge Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw for the top spots in fantasy, I think it is perfectly within his capability to land himself inside the top-10 among starting pitchers in 2013. I expect an 18-11 record to go along with 210 strikeouts and peripherals of a 1.20 WHIP and 2.95 ERA.
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