May 12, 2013

A Treasured Rookie Pitcher: Matt Moore Edition

Saying this often is not common in this hobby, 2012 National Treasures cards have been a revelation. Yes, they are expensive.  Yes, they are unlicensed and have interesting hat placement to offset that.  On the converse, the checklist content is vast, varied, and actually left me surprised with the inclusions.  The real draw has been the vintage players of yore (pre-WWII), but it's kind of difficult to get an auto example of one of those players without significant coin.

In pursuit of an auto example from the National Treasures brand, I then decided to turn to the deep rookie/prospect class of 2012    There are numerous choices, led by Bryce Harper and Yu Darvish.  Those guys, though, have expensive autos.   I decided to then turn to a player with a significant pedigree, but I feel is slightly overlooked in the hobby as far as recognition compared to his peers, Matt Moore of the Rays.

He's been climbing the prospect list since his notice in 2010 until he hit a peak of #2 on the Baseball America list and #1 on the list.    The reasons for his ascension can be traced to three numbers: 12.7 K/9, 3.3 K/BB, and 0.5 HR/9.  In addition, he had the splintering fastball hitting 97 with a wickedly spinning curveball and complementary change-up.   All these pitches have the potential to be commanded.

His first full season in 2012 was disappointing by #1 prospect expectations, but there were flashes of the ace potential with 8.9 K/9 over his 11-11 record and 3.81 ERA.    In 2013, in his age 24, the transformation has begun.  He is undefeated and has a 2.14 ERA with a higher K rate and lower BB rate.

All the rookies in National Treasures are #/99.  It's a rare rookie at a bargain price for what the boxes cost.  I think he has the chance to be the next David Price or Felix Hernandez.


Chunter said...

I'm a big fan (and collector) of Moore, have been since he was tearing it up at AA Montgomery. Sweet card!

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