On September 22nd, Matt Moore went into Yankee Stadium and delivered a gem — 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks. Even though it was against the Yankees B lineup, which was produced and directed by Roger Corman, his lights-out performance in September was exactly what he’d been doing in the minor leagues since 2007. His Triple-A year in 2011 — 1.37 ERA, 13+ K/9 in 52 2/3 IP. His Double-A stats in 2011 — 2.20 ERA, 11+ K/9 in 102 1/3 IP. Together, 1.92 ERA and 12+ K/9 in 155 innings. Those are Bugs Bunny numbers, and if anyone knows what “Bugs Bunny numbers” means, like Alfred E. Neuman, I’m all ears. Jay-Z would say hitters going against Moore have bunny ears. On Stephen’s top 50 fantasy baseball prospects for 2012, he listed Moore as number one. (I’d put Mike Trout there, but c’est la whatever.) So what can we expect of Matt Moore in 2012 fantasy baseball?
Nothing until June 1st. If the Rays weren’t cheap, they’d have no adjective. Maybe the Rays can raise some money for Moore by having a garage sale — they can sell speedy outfielders, soul-patched pitchers and moth-ridden Tommy Bahama shirts. Then the Rays can start Moore in the rotation out of Spring Training and lose him in 2017 rather than 2018 (when Siri will be GM’ing a MLB team. “I’m sorry, Stuart Sternberg, there are no free agent catchers in your area.”) And, in fairness to the once-Satan Rays, teams don’t really need 5th starters in April and they’ll want to limit his innings. When Moore gets the call in June, I imagine he’ll put together a year that makes him a contender for Rookie of the Year. Something like we saw with Hellickson in 2011, though hopefully with a lot more Ks. Say 10-7/3.15/1.20/160 in 150 innings. But if he’s drafted in my mixed leagues (which he will be), I’m not bothering with him. I’m not sitting on a rookie pitcher for a month in April unless the league’s deep and/or a keeper. Too many variables, and I imagine his price will be too steep. Now, Rays fans, start making your signs for April home games, “We want Moore, roger that,” or sell your Tommy Bahama shirts.