Tigers Scouting Report #2: Steven Moya

Steven Moya had his coming out party in 2014, putting his power potential on display as he belted 35 home runs en route to being named Eastern League MVP. A slow spring and an injured heel have dampened the enthusiasm as of late - how high is Moya's prospect status, and could he be in right field everyday in 2016?

Steven Moya


Position: Outfielder

Date of Birth: 9/8/1991 (2014 Opening Day Age: 23)
Height/Weight: 6-7/260
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2008
Ranking History: #77 (2009), #48 (2010), #71 (2011), #25 (2012), #6 (2013), #3 (2014), #2 (2015)

Background: One of the Tigers most impressive signings of the 2008 international period, Moya debuted with a .252 average and six home runs in his 2009 DSL debut. He followed that up with a .190 average in 40 GCL games in 2010, before jumping all the way to Low-A West Michigan in 2011. With the Whitecaps he hit just .204 but slugged 13 home runs and put himself squarely on the prospect map. He returned to West Michigan in 2012 and hit .288/.319/.481 in 59 games before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Once finally back on the field in 2013, Moya slugged 12 home runs and hit .255 in the High-A Florida State League before hitting well in spring training this year and jumping to Double-A Erie. Moya made his Major League debut in 2014, following a mammoth season at Double-A, and after starting the 2015 season on the disabled list (plantar fasciitis) Moya is looking to get on track at Triple-A.


2014 Stats - Hitting
Erie 515811423333510523161164.276.306.555
Detroit 82300000200.375.375.375

Scouting Report

Body: Enormous; MLB body since the day he signed; chiseled his frame during rehab from TJ surgery; incredibly strong; shocking athlete for his size; wonderful frame and strength.

Hit: Typical long-arm struggles; big holes on the inner half; has above-average raw bat speed; can shorten and get to the ball quickly, but that’s not his game; feel for barrel is mediocre; lots of swing and miss; pitch recognition lags and hinders overall game; likes to swing at pitches near the zone and won’t walk much; pitchers can exploit him with spin and velocity inside; hit tool unlikely to play anywhere near average; will come up short; could limit utility of power; still a ways from hit tool maturation, despite minor league experience; strides still possible but unlikely. Grade – Present 3/Future 3+

Power: Some of the best raw power in the minor leagues; when his arms extend can drive balls to all fields with fantastic authority; power to pull side is stupid; swing has upper-cut to allow him to lift balls and drive majestic shots; even with below-average hit tool, power will play to at least plus level; could still hit 25 home runs a year; power won’t be supplemented by doubles or triples; very much all or nothing. Grade – 8 (raw)/6+ (realistic)

Speed: Long, slow strides; surprisingly quick for his size; chews up ground with long strides; speed plays better once underway; below-average down the line; can run to average levels over longer distances, including while playing outfield; may slow down if the body continues to mature and add mass. Grade – 4+/4+

Defense: Has gone from awkward to solid in RF; won’t get to tons of balls in the gaps; can move well enough to cover some ground; comes in well on the ball; doesn’t go back particularly well; decent reads but has some inconsistency; could be average RF at peak. Grade – 4+/5

Arm: Arm strength shows as above-average tool; fits in RF; good carry and accuracy on throws; can be a deterrent to base runners; release gets a little slow at times; ball doesn’t always come out clean and will play down on occasion. Grade – 5+/5+

Other: Quiet, humble kid; good makeup; extremely hard worker on and off the field.

Final Word

Summary: Game-changing power potential that will only be limited by hit tool development; may only hit .240-.245 if things click and his approach improves some; hitting .240 could still yield 25 bombs with 8 raw power; runs better than one would expect; glove and arm can play in RF; good clubhouse presence; intense worker that can be very hard on himself when he doesn’t perform or makes mistakes; still needs development against polished arms; will have long stretches where he’s exploited and slumps; will carry team in other stretches it clicks and power plays to max.

Risk: High risk; Even with upper level success, risk remains high; hit tool development is open question and may prevent carrying tool from playing big role.

Projection: Massive ceiling as a first-division right fielder with middle of the order power; difficult to project him to ceiling and more likely he comes up as a solid regular or platoon guy doing the heavy lifting against right-handed pitchers; needs full year in Triple-A for development, and still may need additional time in 2016; slow burn on developmental path but could be everyday player in 2017 and beyond.

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