Halting the Hype Train: Moises Sierra Cannot Start for Toronto Blue Jays in 2013

By Charles Davis

Moises Sierra has been an exciting player for the Toronto Blue Jays since his call-up last month. He’s shown the ability to drop in some base hits and hit for power, he’s looked pretty good in the outfield, he hustles on the bases – though might be a bit of a bonehead in that regard – and of course, he has demonstrated an outstanding arm out of right field.

In a disappointing season, there is no question that Moises Sierra has been a fun player to watch in his attempt to replace superstar Jose Bautista.

Sierra has been alright, but it’s damn near impossible to replace Bautista. However, talk of Sierra as a potential cog in the Blue Jays 2013 lineup is misguided, if not downright foolish.

Sierra is hitting .286/.313/.429 in 80 plate appearances this year. Without looking further into the numbers, you want more from your starting outfielder than a .742 OPS. Assuming Jose Bautista returns to right field next year, Sierra would be playing in left field. Certainly, you’d be hoping for an OPS of at least .800 in left field. Especially when said left fielder has an arm that best plays in right.

One must wonder, though, if even these numbers from Sierra are sustainable.

Moises Sierra has walked in fewer than 4% of his plate appearances this year. He has struck out in 25% of them. Contact rates tend to stabilize faster than most other statistics, making this trend all the more worrisome. With a BABIP sitting at .352, and less than blazing speed, it seems that Sierra is due for some regression.

Regression from his current pace seems inevitable. If his current pace is unworthy of a starting spot, then what of the regressed Sierra?

We’re essentially looking at an Eric Thames with some defensive value. If Eric Thames were to be marginally valuable defensively, would he be worthy of a starting spot on a contending major league ball club?

Sierra doesn’t hit for enough power to be a major league corner outfielder. He doesn’t get on base enough, and he doesn’t put the ball in play enough. He is not valuable on the base paths, and though he may put some hits on the board and possess some pop, he does not add enough across-the-board offensive value to be considered a viable starter.

Let that comparison to Eric Thames soak for a moment.

Moises Sierra is not an option for the Blue Jays in 2013 if they plan on contending.


Charles Davis is a baseball writer for RantSports.com with a specific focus on the Toronto Blue Jays, their farm system, and prospects league-wide. Read his articles here and follow him on Twitter @CPDavis90.

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