Another one of the draft picks that Jack Zduriencik may have gotten right, was one of his last. 2015 Second Round pick Andrew Moore out of Oregon State University has shown he has all the tools to be an effective starting pitcher in the majors. While he doesn't pack the powerful fastball like Luiz Gohara does, Moore's control and feel for his pitches is already outstanding.
Like most pitchers, Moore offers a fastball that usually sits around 89-91 MPH, but can sometimes climb up to 93 or 94. While it may not be a deadly fastball, the command and movement on the pitch is what makes it so dangerous. It might not overpower hitters, but it's probably going to fool them. Unlike Gohara, the strikeout numbers aren't insane, but the walk numbers are.
In 202 innings of minor league ball over the last two years, Moore has walked just 33 hitters. That means he's issuing a walk about every 6 innings that he pitches. As expected with a finesse pitcher, a reliable secondary pitch is a necessity and Moore has that with his tough changeup. It's not at the dominant level of a James Shields type yet, but it has the potential to get there as he develops. Moore also offers a curveball and a slider, but both are works in progress and are not quite at the point of being reliable, professional pitches.
At 22 years old, Moore is maybe the closest of the Mariners prospect pitchers to being ready. His aforementioned command and control have caused him to develop quickly and on top of that he has a tremendous baseball IQ. In two years, Moore went from Short Season A to AA and has a good chance to start the season in Tacoma of AAA next year. In 36 minor league starts, Moore is 13-5 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.08 WHIP which is remarkable for a pitcher of his experience.
As mentioned before, he's pitched 202 innings walking just 33 batters and striking out 176. Considering the Mariners rotation still has some question marks and injury prone players, Moore could make a push to receive a big league promotion if he performs well in Tacoma. Regardless of what happens this year though, he'll almost certainly be in the Mariners rotation by the 2017 campaign. Moving off pitchers for a moment, our next spotlight will be on the Mariners number one prospect. Coming up next will be the lightning quick swing and raw power of Kyle Lewis.