Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Predictions Review: Moore vs. Barnese

Back in March, we polled the Rays blogosphere for predictions about the 2009 season in the minors. Now that it's September and the minor-league seasons are drawing to a close, it's time to take a look back and laugh at stupid things we all said. We continue today with Matt Moore vs. Nick Barnese. Again, the panelists were: Cork Gaines from RaysIndex, Tommy Rancel and R.J. Anderson from DRaysBay, the RaysParty gang, Tyler Hissey from AroundTheMajors, Brickhaus from all over the place, and Doug and I from this site.

The question I sent out for this was: " Who's the better prospect to you, Matt Moore or Nick Barnese?" You can view the original post with everyone's full answers here.

It was a split decision before the season, 4 for Moore and 4 for Barnese. Those for Barnese:
Cork: Barnese was the third-round pick and Moore wasn't selected until the eighth. At this early stage... I will have to stick with the better pedigree and that is Barnese.

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

Doug: 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.

Kevin: 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.
And then those for Moore:
Tommy: 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.

RaysParty: Both are very similar, but Matt Moore is a lefty throwing in the low-nineties and may have some velocity to add on.

Tyler: (Barnese) 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: 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.
I don't think there's a whole lot of debate as to who had the better season. Lefty
Matt Moore made 26 starts for the Hot Rods, and while he struggled with his control, he was flat unhittable. He led all minor-league starters with 12.8 strikeouts per 9 innings, perfectly in line with what he did in Princeton last year. Opponents hit just .195 off him, and he kept the ball on the ground(1.35 GO/AO) and in the park(only 6 homeruns allowed). His control improved as the season went on, dropping from 6.2 per 9 in the first half to 4.2 in the second half. Simply put, Moore was one of the most dominant pitchers in the minors when he didn't beat himself with walks.

On the other hand, Nick Barnese had a stiff shoulder and didn't get his season started until June, and while he posted a 2.53 ERA, his other stats don't live up to Moore's. Most obvious is the strikeout rate: Last year in Hudson Valley, Barnese fanned 11.5 per 9. This year in Bowling Green, that number fell to 7.5. His control remains more advanced than Moore's, and Barnese also kept the ball in the park and on the ground. Barnese was good, but the combination of the injury, the strikeout rate plummeting, and Moore being as good as he was makes it an easy win for the southpaw.

We'll be back tomorrow with a look at how we all thought Tim Beckham would fare.

1 comment:

  1. I attended all of the home games and a few road games this year and saw both pitch several times. They both have allot of upside potential, I would give a slight edge to Moore at this point because of the high strikeout ratio and the fact He pitched the entire season. When Barnese got to B.G. He pitched well from day one. The bottom line is they are both very good and should move through the system fairly fast.