Detroit Tigers: Steven Moya Makes Anthony Gose Expendable

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Oct. 10, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Detroit Tigers outfielder Steven Moya plays for the Glendale Desert Dogs against the Scottsdale Scorpions during an Arizona Fall League game at Cubs Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Oct. 10, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Detroit Tigers outfielder Steven Moya plays for the Glendale Desert Dogs against the Scottsdale Scorpions during an Arizona Fall League game at Cubs Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Mar 11, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Steven Moya (33) hits an RBI double in the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Moya’s Debut

Steven Moya is back at the Major League level, and if all goes to plan, he could stick with the team. The outfielder has always been touted as a top prospect due to his raw power. Given playing time, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the 24-year-old eventually slug 40 home runs in a season—he has that kind of pop.

The slugger struggled last season in Triple-A, producing just a .240 batting average, 20 home runs, 74 RBI and 162 strikeouts in just 126 games. However, he seems to have turned a corner this season.

In 31 games for Toledo in 2016, Moya bumped his batting average to .310, to go along with 24 RBI, 23 runs scored, 11 doubles, nine home runs and a triple. The fact that he struck out 29 times in 31 games isn’t going to do him any favors, but it marks a significant improvement over last season.

Some of this is clearly due to Moya’s new, wider batting stance. The altered stance is clearing working, as evidenced by the significant improvement shown at the plate.

While the former top prospect did strike out twice in his debut, one punch out came on a 2-2 pitch that Moya looked at for strike three. That pitch was borderline, and you can’t fault the hitter for taking it.

The left-handed hitter did collect two hits, including one that he threaded through the shift in his first at-bat of the season. Moya also displayed a strong arm when he threw home on a potential sacrifice fly.

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