Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic as a 17-year-old, Gerson Moreno made his way up to Double-A in 2017. The Tigers 28th ranked prospect, Moreno has a blistering fastball that he frequently gets into triple digits.
While he has consistently posted gaudy strikeout numbers (including 36 in 28 innings at Double-A) he has struggled with his command, which has stunted his development. Still, he’s shown enough that the Tigers put him on the 40-man roster in order to protect him from the Rule 5 draft last November.
While Moreno’s fastball is big league ready, his offspeed stuff has fallen behind and is holding him up. His slider has shown glimpses of being above-average, but has been plagued by inconsistency. If Moreno can hone in the slider he will be a late-inning reliever in the near future, possibly as soon as 2018.
Moreno in 2018?
Moreno tossed 4.2 innings in five spring training games. He struck out five and walked five, a solid example of the pros and cons of his profile. He was re-assigned to Double-A Erie, where he will begin the 2018 season.
The Tigers have a plethora of bullpen options for the 2018 season, pushing Moreno down on the waiting list. However, none of their other options possess the firepower that Moreno does, so if he can control his fastball and bump up his slider, he will make his big league debut in 2018. If not, expect to see the Tigers be very patient with Moreno, as fastballs like his don’t come around all that often.