Detroit Tigers Prospects

Detroit Tigers Prospects Countdown #14: Steven Moya

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Sep 25, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Steven Moya (33) in the dugout before the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Steven Moya (33) in the dugout before the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Has Steven Moya reached his peak in the minor leagues? Is he ready to move to the Big Leagues? At this point, with the Detroit Tigers, he is a player sitting in limbo. He is on the 40-man roster heading into Spring Training, but odds good that he will not be on the bench or on the starting roster when the season starts. Despite his uncertainty with the Tigers, he is in the #14 spot on our Motor City Bengals prospects countdown. 

Steven Moya is a player sitting in limbo

At 6’7 and 260 pounds, the 24-year old Moya looks more like a point guard than an outfielder. His preferred spot is right field, which is one of his biggest problems. Since the Tigers already have one of the best hitters in baseball roaming right field on a daily basis, Moya’s chance of owning that spot in the next five years is slim. In comparison, J.D. Martinez has a .296 batting average in Detroit, while Moya’s lifetime batting average is only .252.

Still, Moya has potential. His size makes it easy for him to chase down anything in the outfield. His long arms and legs certainly give him an increased range. Most of the other baseball players with height like Moya’s are pitchers, so he does stand out at the plate and on the field. His height and body style gives him a bigger swing that most other players, too.

Sep 14, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Steven Moya (33) catches a fly ball in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Steven Moya (33) catches a fly ball in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

His height gives pitchers more of a range for strikes, so strikeouts are an issue that he has to fight. In 2015, he had 162 strikeouts in 577 plate appearances. In comparison, Martinez had 657 plate appearances and 178 strikeouts. Moya does have power and his 23 home runs in 2015 prove it.

Even though Moya is on our MCB prospect list at number 14, Baseball America has removed him from the Tigers list of top prospects. He has been replaced by other up-and-comers like JaCoby Jones and Michael Fulmer. At this point in time, Moya may no longer have value to the Tigers as a regular player at Comerica Park. He is most likely going to be a trading chip, especially now that the Tigers have more outfielders than they actually need.

Despite the fact that Moya is on the 40-man roster and will work out in Lakeland, he will probably spend another season with the Triple-A Toledo. In 2014, Moya was the hottest prospect for the Tigers, he hit 35 home runs with the Erie Seawolves and in the Arizona Fall League, he batted .289. His performance in 2015 in Toledo did decline, but he did have a strong Winter League season in the Dominican Republic.

Next: Detroit Tigers Prospect Countdown #15: Jairo Labourt

It is clear that Steven Moya is a talented player; but at this time, there are too many players on the roster who are better. In 2015, when the Tigers needed an outfielder, they turned to Tyler Collins. Now that the team has Justin Upton, Cameron Maybin, Anthony Gose, and Mike Aviles, Moya’s potential with the Tigers is quickly fading. Unless Moya wants to be a lifetime minor leaguer, like his former teammate Mike Hessman, he will need to show his true potential to the 29 other teams that would use a big, tall outfielder.

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