Tigers Prospect Profile #25: Steven Moya

Steven Moya is a big, lanky outfielder with tremendous power from the left side of the plate, but had his ups and downs in his first year of full season ball with West Michigan, just barely breaking the Mendoza line, but flashing the power swing with 13 home runs. What's next for Moya?

Steven Moya
Position: Outfielder
Height: 6-6
Weight: 220
Born: 8/9/1991
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

Background
At least in part because of questions surrounding his hitting ability, Moya slipped through the cracks during the 2008 international signing period and the Tigers swooped in and got him at a relative bargain price.

Still just 17-years old in 2009 Moya made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League, posting a .250 average with eight doubles and six home runs.

Though his numbers weren't awe inspiring, Moya came Stateside for the 2010 season and was taken behind the wood shed in the Gulf Coast League, posting a tough .190/.229/.299 line in 40 games for the Tigers.

His rough 2010 season didn't come without some developmental benefits as Moya made big strides heading into 2011 and when West Michigan needed an outfielder later in the spring, Moya was promoted to the Midwest League.

In 86 games for the Whitecaps the 6-foot-6 Moya hit only .204 and struck out 127 times against just 12 walks but he did managed ten doubles and 13 home runs; his home run total good for 25th in the league despite playing just over half the season.

Scouting Report
Moya is an absolute beast of a man. Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing in at a listed weight of 220 pounds, he is one of the biggest players in the system and he is likely still growing. With that size comes some significant coordination issues for Moya as he is still learning how to control his body in space.

Moya's size and natural strength give him 80 raw power, though much of that power is still absent in game situations. He has a long swing – as most power hitters do – and he doesn't adjust well to pitches, leaving him vulnerable to flailing at balls out of the strike zone and piling up strikeouts.

He made good strides in extended spring training last year, enough that the Tigers believe he could become a .250 hitter if given enough time to develop his swing path and pitch recognition skills. It will take a lot of work, but a .250 average would give Moya the potential to crank 25-plus home runs annually, if not more.

Moya is below-average defender in right field now, but much of that stems from his coordination issues. He gets a good jump on the ball but runs wide routes and is often clumsy as he approaches the ball and tries to slow down for it. If his coordination improves as he reaches complete physical maturity, he could be an average defender. He has arm strength but takes a long time to get rid of the ball.

Moya is a below-average runner that will likely continue to slow down as he bulks up and fills out his massive frame. There are some scouts that believe quite firmly he will not be able to stay in the outfield and will end up at first base, while others think he'll be more of the plodding defender whose bat is forced to pick up the slack.

The developmental road is likely to be extremely long for Moya. His physical coordination will have to come before his actual baseball skills continue to take additional steps forward. His incredible power potential gives him an outstanding ceiling but he is also extremely unlikely to approach that lofty projection.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

A

West Michigan

323

.204

10

13

39

127

12

.234

.362


Health Record
Moya has been injury free throughout his three-year career.

The Future
It would be shocking if the Tigers sent Moya anywhere but West Michigan to start the 2012 season. He could end up back in extended spring training if he struggles this spring but given his performance with the ‘Caps last year he seems destined for a repeat tour of the Midwest League.

It is conceivable that Moya could spend the better part of three or four years at the Tigers two A-ball clubs and it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing given where he is on the developmental arc. Moya's raw potential requires patience and the Tigers are sure provide just that.

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