We humans are a funny species, as emotion punks the brain much of the time. Back in the day when we roamed with clubs and were hunted by dinosaurs, emotional responses were necessary for survival. There was no time to analytically break down the size, speed, weight, etc of threat. Just run or fight. As we evolved and conquered much of the threats that nature could bestow upon us…..hears knock on the window…..Oh, it’s just Rona waving hi. Just put on your mask, don’t pay any attention, and everything will be fine. Now, there is a much-too-huge segment of the population that is still in survival mode (shameful), but many are not. As a result, you’d think that we would use our brains more, since we have more time. Unfortunately, we still let emotion run our lives. Some do it to feel alive. I get it. Others? It usually comes down to greed and fear. In fantasy baseball, we see it all the time. Owners rage dropping a pitcher after he gets slapped for 8 earned runs in 2 innings. On the flip side, there are players on heaters like Dylan Moore of the Seattle Mariners, who is the number one added player in ESPN leagues over the past week (49% owned – increase of 47.4%). Can we expect Moore from Dylan or is this the time to jump off?
Moore is 28 years old, 6′ 0″, 200 pounds, and bats from the right side. He was drafted by the Rangers in the 7th round of the 2015 MLB draft, traded to the Braves in 2016, released and signed by the Brewers in 2018, and signed by the Mariners after electing for free agency.
Throughout his minor league career, he showed good plate discipline, as the walk rate was in the 7-10% range and the strikeout rate was under 20% in every season except for his first. He showed a little pop, but only exceeded 10 home runs once. Moore did show good speed, as he stole double-digit bases in four seasons, with a high of 37 in 2016. The batting average was all over the place, as well as the ISO. His peak was back in Double-A with the Brewers when he batted .373 with a .265 ISO. The low was in 2017 with the Braves when he batted .207 with a .086 ISO.
Last season, Moore did play 113 games for the Mariners and accrued 282 plate appearances. He produced a .206/.302/.389 slash with an 8.9% walk rate, 33% strikeout rate, and .182 ISO. He finished with 9 home runs and 11 stolen bases.
So far in 2020, the slash is .313/.377/.646 with a 5.7% walk rate, 28.3% strikeout rate, and .333 ISO. He’s clubbed 4 homers and stolen 3 bases. Let’s dig into the numbers.
Looking at the batted ball data, the GB/FB is the same from last season, but he’s hitting a significant more number of line drives. The HR/FB rate has spiked from 12.5% to 28.6%. He’s also been pulling the ball more. Last year, the pull rate was at 38.1%. So far this season, it’s at 42.4%. The most eye-popping number, though, is the 54.5% hard hit rate. Last year, it was at 33.5%.
According to Statcast, Moore is 96th percentile in exit velocity, 94th in hard hit rate, 90th in xSLG, and 97th in barrel percentage.
The plate discipline numbers also tell a wonderful tale. The chase rate is only 23.1%, which is an improvement from last year’s 26.4%. He’s swinging at fewer pitches, making better contact, and the swinging strike rate is at 9.4%. Last year it was at 11.2%.
Man, what’s not to like? He also has a 72nd percentile sprint speed, so stolen bases are on the menu.
Before I crown his ass for the Hall of Fame, let me throw some shade on the party. 51.7% of the pitches that Moore has seen this season have been fastballs. On those pitches, he has a .581 wOBA, 93 exit velocity, and 7.7% whiff percentage. On breaking balls, which he’s seen 40.3% of the time, the wOBA is .109 and the whiff rate is 57.9. On offspeed pitches, which accounted for 8% so far, the wOBA is .103 and the whiff rate is 55.6%.
Moore is batting second in the batting order, and his power/speed combo is enticing. With that said, I have a not-so-sneaky suspicion that he’s going to start seeing a whole lot of breaking and offspeed stuff soon. There’s a chance we start calling him Dylan Serrano soon. In addition, the .333 ISO and .379 BABIP are going to come down. Steamer has him projected for a .222 batting average and .153 ISO with a .276 BABIP. That seems like the reasonable outcome going forward. TRASH