Just making the cut as our first featured prospect is Brian Moran who shows us that the Angel farm system is so lacking in depth, that the Halos need to steal prospects from the Mariners.
Position: RP Highest Level: AAA
Bats: L Throws: L Height: 6'3" Weight: 210
Age: 25 Born: 9/30/1988
2013 Rank: Unranked
2013 Season Stats
AAA: 62.2 IP, 2-5, 3.45 ERA, 70 H, 20 BB, 4 HR, 85 SO, 31.9 GB%, 2.42 FIP, .407 BABIP
Fastball = C
Moran throws mid to upper 80’s. Normally, this wouldn't merit a grade above a “D” or an “F” in this department. However, Moran is left-handed and creates quite a bit of deception in his delivery, thus making his fastball play up as if it were thrown harder. Already a tall 6’3, Moran takes an extremely extended stride toward home plate, which allows his to release the ball a lot closer to home than your average reliever, making his 87 mph fastball seem quite a bit harder. Not a bad idea if you can pull it off.
Offspeed Pitches = B
Moran throws a “true” slider against LHB. This is a pitch that would absolutely be murdered against RHB unless it were used in a backdoor manner, but luckily for Moran, he’s a lefty specialist. By “true” slider, we mean this off-speed pitch shouldn’t be mistaken for a hard curve, as many sliders tend to be, this pitch floats up to the plate and offers considerable horizontal movement rather than the typical cut and drop of many off-speed pitches. It’s actually quite similar to former Angels LHP Scott Downs’ slider, except Moran throws it even more softly.
Control = B
Moran has never had an issue with free-passes in his minor league career. I really like him in that he’s a straight to business type of reliever. He won’t rely on gimmicks or advanced scouting to get LHB out, he trusts his stuff and attacks hitters. It’s a far-cry from many hyped Angels relievers but Dipoto has done a decent job of bringing in pitchers capable of throwing strikes.
Command = A
This is where Moran can be truly effective. He puts his fastball and off-speed pitches exactly where he wants them. He won’t throw straight down the middle, when he misses off the plate it’s because he wants hitters to chase, which is one of the many reasons he records routinely high strikeout numbers despite not having overpowering stuff. This is particularly exciting in that Moran will use his slider under the hands or let it float off the plate, which gives lefties a couple different looks.
Mechanics = B
He reminds me again of a longer version of Scott Downs. His leg-kick and balance pre-delivery are both almost identical to Downs. Despite having a tremendously long-stride, Moran’s upper body remains compact for someone of his size. This works to his advantage in that there aren’t a ton of moving parts. His release is what I’d consider low three-quarters, again, very similar to Scott Downs and particularly effective against LHB as the ball seems to be not only coming from behind them but also from 54 feet instead of 60 feet 6 inches (again, long stride). His finish isn’t particularly off-balance and he’s ready to field his position. This makes him a potential defensive asset on plays up the middle given his size, but it also helps prevent injury by allowing him to finish in a position that isn’t foreign to his body.