Friday, October 2, 2009

Moore, Beckham, and Barnese on SAL Top 20

BaseballAmerica's South Atlantic League top 20 prospects list is out, and three Rays made the cut: LHP Matt Moore at #2, shortstop Tim Beckham at #5, and RHP Nick Barnese at #16. The list and a small write-up is free, but the scouting reports are insider-only. Here's a little taste:

#3 LHP Matt Moore
Moore has two above-average pitches, an 89-92 mph fastball that touches 94 and a tight 82-84 mph curveball with late depth. He has a deceptive fastball that jumps up on people and gets bad swings. He also throws a changeup with late screwball-like action. His three-pitch repertoire yielded a league-leading 176 strikeouts in 123 innings.

#5 SS Tim Beckham
At the plate, Beckham stays back on the ball, uses his legs well and takes advantage of offspeed pitches up in the zone. With his plus bat speed and strong wrists, he projects to hit .300 with 20 home runs in the big leagues. He's a solid-average runner with good instincts, but not a basestealer.

#16 Nick Barnese
Barnese is slow and deliberate through his windup, bringing his hands over his head and taking his time to get to his balance point. Once he's there, he explodes toward the plate and pops an 89-92 mph fastball that touches 93 and has late run. His 80-82 mph changeup and 77-81 mph curveball can be plus pitches at times, but they're still works in progress.

To me, the .300/20 homerun projection for Beckham is being very generous. He'll certainly have to improve on his pitch recognition to have a chance at that. As for Moore, he evidently (intentionally) dialed back his fastball this season to command it better. It'll be interesting going forward to see if he ramps it back up while still commanding it. That would turn it from an above-average pitch flashing plus to a plus pitching flashing plus-plus. His curveball is still his knockout pitch, though.


  1. For what it is worth (frankly, not much), I saw Moore pitch up close in the instructional league game in Tropicana Field recently. His curve was a heck of a pitch; the batters had no idea what to do with it.

    The Tropicana radar gun had his fastball topping out at 89, maybe 90 once or twice, but generally 87-89. Still, whether it was a slow gun or accurate, batters did not get much wood on it either. Of course, we are talking about many of this year's draftees and only 2 innings of work.

  2. I watched these three all season long. Moore and Barnese are the real deal, Beckham not so much.

  3. Beckham .300 with 20HRs???? AM I the only one that thinks he sounds crazy?Maybe .280 with 10-15HR, but 20HR! Unless Bowling Green is just not a hitters park I don't understand this at all

  4. Moore's fastball has very good late movement, plus it's got a bit of deception that they mentioned. The pitch looks like it is coming in much harder than 90mph when he throws it. It was still plenty overpowering for SAL hitters.

    As for Beckham, the key word is projection. Watching him play, the bat speed and quick wrists are very apparent. That is a talent that can't be taught. Give him a little more experience and time to develop and he'll have a chance of realizing his potential. I don't think .300/20 is a very unrealistic projection/celing for him.

  5. .300 maybe but 20HRs is still pushing it.I still say 10-15

  6. If Jason Bartlett can hit .320 with 14 HR's....

  7. Great comments also, Andy. Appreciate your input. I really don't know what to think about T Beckham. The Rays dropped what, 5.6 million to sign him (without looking), this org doesn't spend that kind of money without a pretty good idea of what they are getting. Now they could have been wrong, or things may have changed since the signing, but he isn't even 20 yet. I will admit the errors worry me, he's a lot less valuable off SS.