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Better know a Tiger: Steven Moya

Steven Moya occupies a spot on the 40 man roster. Will he occupy a spot in our hearts?

Is Steven Moya in line to join Joe Nathan on the Tigers?
Is Steven Moya in line to join Joe Nathan on the Tigers?
David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

We move to the outfield as we review the position players on the 40 man roster. First up is Steven Moya. Moya was born in Puerto Rico but started his professional career in the Dominican Summer League at 17 years old. He struggled in the Gulf Coast League and his first season in the Midwest League but at 20 years old gained attention in West Michigan.

Year Age Level Games PA HR SB BA OBP SLG
2009 17 DSL 60 255 6 4 .252 .361 .372
2010 18 Rk 40 144 2 0 .190 .229 .299
2011 19 A 86 337 13 1 .204 .234 .362
2012 20 A 59 258 9 5 .288 .319 .481
2013 21 A+ 93 388 12 6 .255 .296 .433

The slugging percentage was the most exciting component of his performance, but there were reasons for caution. He only walked 4% of the time. The sample size was only 59 games, cut short by the need for Tommy John surgery. He was promoted to Lakeland last year and maintained the power with 12 home runs and 19 doubles.

He is a big left-handed hitter, listed at 6’6" and 230 pounds. The numbers reflect his size. When he connects it may be a moon shot, hence a high slugging percentage. But his strike zone is huge, and he rarely walks. The stolen bases show a little speed, but by no means is he a burner.

Moya earned the 7th spot in the BYB prospect rankings last year. Watch this year’s rankings to see where he lands.

Keys to Success

Cut way down on strikeouts. Increase walks. Improve defensively. By all accounts he is an athlete with tools, and he needs to convert them into baseball skills.

Odd Numbers

Sometime in his last season with the Whitecaps, Moya is credited with a sacrifice bunt. The story would be interesting. Was it intentional? Did the manager make the call? If Moya makes it to the major leagues it will be as a slugger with a low average, somewhere between Marcus Thames and Rob Deer. He will not likely ever be called upon to bunt again. He should treasure the moment.

2014 Outlook

Moya will be 22 years old and will likely spend the season at Double-A Erie. This should be a make-or-break year. He reminds me of too many other outfield prospects -- Wilkin Ramirez, Gorkys Hernandez, Danry Vasquez -- who were hyped and traded.