Top pitching prospect Matt Moore pitched another gem in the first game of the ALDS series against the Rangers on Friday night. Moore tossed 7 innings of shutout ball, limiting an excellent Rangers lineup to just 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6. Robert wrote this article on Thursday telling Fake Teams readers not to take too much from post season performances. Here is one of the main points of Robert's article:
Small sample size. This cannot be overstated. The MLB playoff system is a roll of the dice. Teams play 162 game seasons, and often (like last night) divisional and wild card races come down to a difference of just one of those games. Contrast that with the postseason, where the maximum amount of playable games for a given team is 19, just over 10% of the regular schedule. Anything a player accomplishes in the second season has little correlation to what he can accomplish on a consistent basis from April to September. Sure, it's nice to know that Mitch Moreland can handle the pitching of the Giants over a 5 game series, but what good did that do you when you wasted a mixed-league draft pick (however late that pick was) in 2010?
While I tend to agree with Robert, but for someone like Matt Moore, I might place a little bit of importance to how he pitched tonight, because he shut down one of the best offenses in baseball on the big stage of the playoffs. But, I am also high on Moore, so this performance didn't change how much I like him for 2012, maybe just solidified my thoughts about how dominant he can be in the big leagues.
I wrote this article earlier today on Moore, and I think he can be a top 40 starting pitcher in baseball in 2012. And possibly better. A quick projection, assuming he pitches 170 innings in 2012, I can see him winning 12-13 games, with a 3.50 ERA and around 175-190 strikeouts. This projection may change as we get closer to the start of the 2012 season, and learn more about how, and if, the Rays are going to use him in their rotation to start the season.