Thursday, March 12, 2009

RaysProspects Predictions: Moore vs. Barnese

Who's the better prospect to you, Matt Moore or Nick Barnese?

Cork Gaines: Nick Barnese. Matt Moore is left-handed and had slightly better numbers last season. I even like that he dominated right-handed batters. But Barnese was the third-round pick and Moore wasn't selected until the eighth. At this early stage, considering I couldn't even pick these guys out of lineup... I will have to stick with the better pedigree and that is Barnese.

Tommy Rancel: At this point, Barnese is the more advanced prospect, but I'd say Moore has the higher upside. Left-handed, throws mid 90s with control. There isn't a whole lot to dislike about either one, but I'd tip my hat to Moore.

R.J. Anderson: Barnese seems more advanced at this point and he’s only five months older.

RaysParty: Both are very similar, but Matt Moore is a lefty throwing in the low-nineties and may have some velocity to add on. His curveball is also above average and he should add a changeup soon. Having a lefty starter throwing hard fastballs is always coveted in the Majors. Moore looks to get high strikeout rates and low walk rates during his professional career.

Tyler Hissey: There is not a huge track record to go by with Moore yet, and it was surprising that he repeated Princeton again in 2008. But he has a pretty high upside, as there are not too many young lefties who consistently throw in the mid-90s at that age. I am excited to see how he performs against more advanced hitters, but he is the better prospect to me at this stage, with a real chance to emerge as one of the best pitching prospects around. Barnese is also a really good breakout candidate in his first stab at full season-ball as I mentioned above, with two plus pitches, including that solid curve ball that scouts have raved about. Love the K/9 rate and ground ball % from his time at Hudson Valley; I cannot help but think of a young Jeremy Hellickson when talking about him. He is probably a safer bet to be ranked higher on this list next year, but I am going with Moore because of his tremendous arm strength and left-handedness.

Brickhaus: Moore. As far as I can tell, his best pitch is better than Barnese's, his second best pitch is better than Barnese's, plus he's a lefty. That said, Barnese by all accounts has better control and mound demeanor. Also, Princeton has historically been a tough place to pitch well, while it seems like someone has a fantastic year every season in Hudson Valley. I don't think Barnese is a mirage based on pitching in Hudson Valley, but I think that as long as Moore can keep his mechanics intact, he should be able to dominate guys at higher levels than Barnese.

Doug Milhoan: Tough choice, but I'll take Barnese. I'm going to assume here that they both pitch for Bowling Green, where they will benefit from having R.C. Lichtenstein as their pitching coach. Barnese is only 5 months older but has already faced more advanced hitters at Hudson Valley (A-) than Moore has at Princeton (R+), while putting up similar numbers. I like that both have high strikeout rates, low walk rates, high groundball percentages, and allow few home runs. While I realize Moore is more projectable and is a coveted lefty, I think Barnese will be better in 2009. He's already faced these hitters last year (the hitters will be moving up to full-season A-ball too), and I think he'll handle the increased innings better than Moore. Long term who knows, but for 2009 it's a good year to be a Hot Rods' fan!

Kevin Gengler: It's really close, but if I had to choose just one, I would pick Barnese. Moore was absolutely fantastic with Princeton, but Barnese pitched well at a higher level and I think his fastball is going to develop into a true plus-plus pitch with it's combination of velocity and life. If they both have somewhat similar seasons in Bowling Green in 2009, then I might give the edge to Moore, but after only one awesome season, I'm not quite sold on him. Another dominating season would do a lot to quell my doubts, but right now I have to go with Barnese.


  1. Keep in mind, Moore fans, that Princeton is in a very weak Appy league filled mostly with high school studs and really late small college picks with a few Dominicans sprinkled in.

    Hudson Valley is in the same division as the Yankees', Mets' and Orioles' short-season teams - all three known well for bringing Advanced Class-A hitters down for the month of August to make a playoff push. Nick still shredded them.

    As one advanced prospect once told me about Nick, who has a lot of bulking up left to do (he's all of about 150 pounds dripping wet in reality), his mid-90s fastball is extremely deceptive. And it moves.

    And he has potential of touching 96-97 fairly consistently with some meat on his frame.

  2. That's sort of what I see, or am least hoping, Barnese will do. That said, he's going to need to develop with off-speed stuff to get hitters out as he moves along.

  3. Having seen both these young pitcher in action, I have to say Iam very impressed with Matt not only because he is a south paw, but because he is a strong pitcher, glad to follow him and say he didnt give up a single homerun this past season.

  4. To the first commenter - there are two or three guys who 'shred' Hudson Valley every year. It's a very pitching favorable environment. I can't think of the last time someone 'shredded' Princeton for a full season, even though it's a lower level. Princeton is up in the mountains, and you have to account for that.

    I've also never seen a report that Barnese's fastball is mid-90's. If he does get up that high, it maybe changes my perception of him a bit. Reports I've seen say 89 - 91, touching 93, with a ton of movement. It's a great pitch, but not 91 - 93, touching 96, with good movement, like what Moore has.

    They're both really good prospects, but I think it's more likely that Moore can stick as a starter long-term.

    - Brick

  5. Barney hit 96 during one outing while at Hudson Valley, though he was consistent at 91-93 according to the gun reading I was seeing. I spent the year as the official scorer there, often seeing the pitching charts from both teams after games.

    During his spring training you won't see him get up over 90 hardly ever - in fact, you'll most often clock him in the 85-89 range. Not sure why he does that ... he just does.

  6. From what I have seen in ST, Brickhaus has nailed it. Moore seems to have the better "stuff", but Barnese has a better demeanor on the mound and is not lacking for confidence. It should be an interesting competition for these two this summer.

  7. Let's hope the shoulder issue is minor and he gets to Bowling Green soon.

  8. I have to go with Moore, Ive seen his stuff and he just seems to be getting better with his stuff, he has a dirty curve ball.