Date of Birth: 9/8/1991 (2016 Opening Day Age: 24)
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2008
Ranking History: #77 (2009), #48 (2010), #71 (2011), #25 (2012), #6 (2013), #3 (2014), #2 (2015), #7 (2016)
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 back on the field from surgery, Moya shot through the Florida State League and posted a massive season at Double-A Erie in 2014; including 33 doubles, 35 home runs, and 105 RBI. Moya continued to slug in 2015 at Triple-A Toledo, pounding 30 doubles and 20 home runs, though he only hit .240 in 126 games.
Body: Massive frame; exceptionally large with mammoth strength; long levers; quality athlete with good coordination for a man his size; physical freak.
Hit: Fringe barrel control; swing can get long both to and through the zone; takes a while to get long arms moving and on the proper path to the ball; can drive fastballs; pitch recognition is marginal on good days and he will struggle with spin as a result; very large strike zone combined with challenges recognizing when pitches are going to stay in the zone leads to additional swing and miss; can get out front when pitchers go soft; has tamed aggressiveness a little in the last two seasons but still likes to swing early and often; hit tool will likely play well below-average and player lacks additional on-base ability. Grade – Present 3/Future 3
Power: Some of the best raw in baseball; can drive the ball out of any park; shows elite raw power to all fields; hit tool limits game utility; has managed to do damage with contact he makes; significant hit tool improvement could lead to 40-plus home runs at peak, but such output is unlikely; with low batting average and a steady diet of spin, player probably still powers 20-25 home runs and 20-plus doubles if given ample playing time. Grade – 7/7 (8 raw plays down)
Speed: 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; no development likely. Grade – 4+/4+
Defense: Surprising contributor with glove; handles himself well on either outfield corner; long strides help to give solid range and can mask the occasional late read or poor route; athleticism shows on defense; solid glove on corners with some limited potential for additional development. Grade – 5/5
Arm: Plus raw strength; ball doesn’t always come out clean; can play down when forced to get of quick throws; with time and the ability to set feet, ball comes out cleanly with good velocity and excellent carry; above-average overall. Grade – 5+/5+
Other: Excellent makeup; quiet; humble; works hard at craft; enjoys game and it shows on the field.
Summary: Rare power in today’s game; flaws with natural hitting ability can be masked by exceptional raw power; defense, speed, and arm strength are all assets, if surprising in some cases; potential middle of the order power hitter in spite of low batting average and on-base percentage.
Risk: High risk; Steep learning curve at MLB level because of hit tool limitations; boom or bust player.
Projection: Still potential to be an average corner outfielder that relies on power to overcome limited on-base/hitting ability; glove will play enough to keep him in the manager’s good graces; could take a full season or more to settle into consistent big league role; will be prone to streaky play.