It’s been an exciting week for call-ups with the Top 2 prospects within the Top 100 pre-season prospect list getting the call to the Majors. A couple other interesting names have also received a promotion to the Majors this week for the first time, although their names carry much less fanfare than the likes of Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.
The demotion of Josh Collmenter from the starting rotation to the bullpen in Arizona is not a surprise. However, the prospect tapped with replacing him in the rotation may be. Southpaw rookie Pat Corbin, 22, was off to a very nice start in double-A, although he doesn’t possess the same ceiling as fellow top prospects Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs. Prior to the season Corbin was ranked sixth on FanGraphs’ Top 15 prospect list for the Diamondbacks, while Bauer was first and Skaggs was third behind the now-traded Jarrod Parker.
Corbin commands his three-pitch repertoire well for his age and experience level, which helps his average fastball play up. For him to succeed in the Majors – and especially in his potent new home ball park – he’ll have to do a better job of keeping the ball down in the strike zone. Right-handed hitters continue to hit him much better than lefties so the development of his changeup is also important.
Corbin should be an immediate upgrade over Collmenter but he may not be ready to assume a permanent role at the big league level. He’ll officially be added to the 25-man roster on Monday and will make the start against Miami and veteran southpaw Mark Buehrle. The rookie may simply be keeping the spot warm for the eventual promotion of Bauer or Skaggs, or for the return of Daniel Hudson who’s currently on the disabled list with a shoulder impingement.
Tyler Moore, 25, is a right-handed mashing first baseman. Between 2010 and 2011 he smashed 62 home runs while playing at both high-A and double-A. His home run prowess continued into 2012 with his promotion to triple-A where he slugged another seven home runs in just 22 games. Moore did not appear on the FanGraphs pre-season Top 15 prospect list for the Nationals organization and has not made the list in any of the past three seasons.
The former 16th round draft pick out of Mississippi State does not come with the ‘top prospect’ label but it’s hard to argue with his power (.262 ISO rate in ’11) and he definitely deserves a shot in Washington. A career .286 hitter in the minors, Moore wil likely be more in the .230-.250 range at the big league level with his current approach at the plate. He’s overly aggressive and doesn’t walk much at all. His propensity for the strikeout (24.8% in ’11) will keep the batting average, and his overall effectiveness, down.
Ultimately he may end up as a platoon player or a right-handed bat off the bench, especially if he cannot improve his two-strike approach, but he definitely has value if he continues to slaughter southpaws at the big league level. Moore will battle two veteran left-handed hitters, Adam LaRoche and Chad Tracy, for playing time. He takes the place of injured veteran infielder Mark DeRosa on the 25-man roster.