Scott Moore, 3B, Chicago Cubs
Moore is a player I liked a lot coming out of high school as a talented lefty stick who would move from shortstop to thirdbase. Well, something happened on the way to being the next Eric Chavez. He was a mess to start out with, getting the bat knocked out of his hands in A-ball for two years while his defense was horrible at third base. I profiled him at TYBITF at the time and gave him 1 ½ stars.
Things turned around when he was the Tigers included him in a trade that yielded Kyle Farnsworth. All of a sudden the power that people saw as a first round draft pick out of high school returned to his bat, his defense went from embarrassing to passable, and he looked like a prospect again.
That's a far cry from the punchless .688 OPS he put up in the Midwest League back in 2003. Now he's a 22 year old who just had a pair of back to back good seasons. He wasn't old for the league. And he even had a cameo in Wrigley where he held his own, hitting .263 with a pair of home runs.
His strengths are that he's clearly got some lefty pop and is on the right side of the learning curve. His main weakness is the strikeout rate. It could easily hold his batting average down in the .250-.270 range, which would make a .350+ OBP a pretty difficult task, requiring him to become a real three true outcomes superstar by doubling his walk rate. Guys who have this statistical profile seem to usually be ones who swing through a lot of sliders in the dirt. Another complication is Aramis Ramirez. If the Cubs re-sign him into the next decade, Moore gets backed into a corner. His bat looks a whole lot less valuable if he's playing left field than if he's manning the hot corner. On one hand, it would give him at least a half season in Iowa (which could use) but on the other hand everybody out in left can hit 25 home runs a year. Currently, Moore is in the Arizona Fall League splitting his time between first, third, and left.
The upside here is the guy he could theoretically replace, Ramirez, with a glove that doesn't kill you and 30+ home runs per season. The downside is that his proclivity to strike out gets exploited and he looks more like Preston Wilson. Obviously the middle ground is a safer bet and Chad Tracy's 2006 season matched up with Moore's numbers the last couple of seasons almost perfectly.