Gabriel Moreno, C, TOR

Ready to fall in love with another catcher prospect, who might not stay a catcher and thus break your heart?

Video courtesy of FanGraphs
  • Born: February 14, 2000
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 5’11”, 160lb
  • Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016 out of Venezuela

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

In 2017 he was in Foreign Rookie league where he put up pedestrian numbers. Then in 2018 in domestic Rookie leagues (two of them, actually), he put up outstanding numbers for an 18-year-old (heck, it would be good numbers for a 28-year-old). He had great power, outstanding bat control, on base at almost a .400 clip. Just didn’t walk that much, nor did he steal many bases.

In 2019 he maintains that great power in A ball, adds a bit more speed, adds a few more walks, keeps that bat control, and still puts up a decent OBP. As a 19-year-old. And a catcher.

He hit lefties better, but his OBP was similar against both, and his power was better against righties. And frankly, if a catcher hit .267 against RHP, you’d take that, wouldn’t you?

He definitely has pull power, but he hits a few to the opposite way.

That 2019 chart might as well be in the dictionary under “typical catcher season.” It’s a hard slog for a young catcher during the summer months of your first full season as a 19-year-old. Overall, those trends are in a good area.

The Scouts

Warnings

He’s a bat-first catcher, so his defense needs more work for him to stay behind the plate. He might not.

He hasn’t hit AA yet.

He’s only 20 years old and a catcher prospect. When has that ever not broken your heart?

Conclusion

Bat-first catchers are always exciting. Imagine owning an asset like that on your roster.

And by bat-first, I mean this kid is so good at putting the bat on the ball, he has a little of Vlad Guerrero, Sr.’s habit of reaching outside the strike zone . . . and making it work for him!

Power and average from a catcher? Where do I sign up? Well, see that group over there holding back their tears under the group sign “Catcher Prospects That Broke Your Heart Fan Club”? Just join them, wait, and hope he sticks at catcher. If he does stick, he’ll be a great one.

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