Taft, California —— At the top of this post, watch our scouting video of Taft College sophomore right-handed pitcher Will Moore. This video was taken during his two appearances pitching for the Cougars against Central Valley Conference opponents Porterville College and College of the Sequoias, both in March, 2017.
Will Moore scouting report notes
A local product from Taft Union High School—that literally backs up against the Taft College Cougars baseball field on campus—Will Moore is fast becoming Taft’s ace pitcher and it appears he’s earned himself a role in the most important parts of Cougar games down the stretch because of it. Last year as a freshman, he went 1-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 16 games/2 starts with 21 strikeouts in 34.2 innings pitched. And this year, he’s already worked himself into the starting rotation, and entering Tuesday night was 3-2 with a 4.64 ERA in nine games (four starts), coupled with 19 strikeouts over his first 21.1 innings pitched.
It’s no secret why he’s working out so well for Taft: he throws hard, consistently commanding the hardest fastball on the team and making hitters uncomfortable with his upper-80s velocity working towards (and above) 90 miles per hour. As you can read in our feature interview with Moore that also runs today, the righty uses the fastball wisely, running it up eye level and showing his best, hard version late in counts to get weak swings. Along with the fastball—which has some sink when Moore can get on top—the hurler offers a changeup and a breaking ball, both of which are a bit behind the heat. It’d be interesting to see if he can develop a true power slider with plus breaking-ball velocity that could complement his hard fastball and potentially make him lights out in a bullpen.
Mechanically, watching the video above lets you clearly see where Will Moore’s focus lies: staying balanced, staying back, and trying to keep himself from rushing to the plate in his delivery. A slow wind-up with a very slow balance point that nearly comes to a pause, Moore has taught himself how to slow things down enough so as to be able to stay on top of the ball at release and pitch down in the zone. More often than not, that’s seemed to work for him in the Taft College outings I witnessed, and he’s proficient in converting that to a quick release in the stretch without adverse affects on his command.
Long term at a four-year school beyond Taft College, Will Moore is likely going to work his way into a starter’s role thanks to his ability to throw strikes and command three pitches with some velocity. That’ll work just fine for him (and his preference, by far, is to start games). That said, though, I think it’d be interesting to see Will Moore as a relief fireman who can miss bats and run hard fastballs in one- and two-inning stints late in close games.
Will Moore scouting report: 140 characters or less
A hard thrower with good life and run on his fastball, Will Moore has developed a strong resumé at Taft as a swingman pitching big innings.
Will Moore scouting report video + GIFs
Again, for video, you can get a better sense of Moore’s mechanics as of March 2017 in the video at the very top of this post. If you’re looking for more specific mechanics, here are our set of Moore pitching GIFs from that same March 9 game against College of the Sequoias, and the March 14 game against Porterville College:
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