Dalton Moats: From KC HS Pitcher to MLB Prospect
First of all let me say that sometimes I get things right. I wrote a story here a few years ago about seeing young Dalton Moats in Florida pitching in a future stars game and he impressed me enough to write an article about what I saw. See article HERE that I wrote in December 2011.
Then I did a follow-up the next summer as I traveled the roads of Missouri. I caught his pitching in a summer league game and penned this ARTICLE in April 2012.
This now brings us to today. Moats has completed his regular season of his senior year and amassed some numbers that are bringing the scouts out to watch. He has been courted by many college scouts throughout the last few years and was able to narrow his choice and make his decision to play Division 1 baseball at Coastal Carolina.
But it has gone beyond that. The unassuming lefthander from Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Missouri left an array of pitching stats and numbers to raise the eyebrows of the major league scouts. Let sort through some of these outstanding numbers and look at what they are seeing.
It is every baseball players’ goal when in high school to play on the Varsity squad as much as possible as soon as they can. For Moats, he got his pitching chance during his sophomore season where he pitched in 4 games and came away with a 1-0 record. In that season he threw 150 pitches and 90 of them were for strikes. He was showing promise to his varsity coach during that season. In fact his High School coach, Greg Reynolds, had this to say in an article recently published in the Kansas City Star:
“We thought of him as a center fielder first and maybe a (No.) 3 or 4 pitcher on our staff,” Reynolds said of his future. “He came back his junior year, though, and he was a totally different kid. We didn’t even recognize him.”
His parents saw potential for Dalton and acted upon their responsibilities to see that he got the best help needed as he began working with a personal trainer and coach to improve his game. Then along came the junior season where he blossomed as a left-handed starter. His numbers became skewed towards the side of beyond the realm of possibility. Junior season saw his record end at 5-1 and a 0.94 ERA. Along with that, he walked 13 and fanned 86 batters in 51.2 innings. In that year he threw 771 pitches and 496 were strikes. This means 64% of his pitches were strikes.
Now we enter his senior season and all eyes throughout Kansas City and now the collegiate world is watching his every diamond move. Every chance for failure is there. It didn’t happen. As stated in the KC Star article:
Moats thinks the roots of his success are buried deeper than his pitching armory. Half the battle, he explains, is mental.
Now let’s look at some jaw-dropping stats from his senior season. He threw 55 innings and had a 5-0 record and a 0.63 ERA. He hurled 758 pitches and had 531 recorded as strikes for 70% strikes. Opponents managed 24 hits off of him for the year.
It is easy to see why the colleges were coveting this 6’3” lefty from Kansas City. Each game the pressure was placed on him and he came through flawlessly in front of many scouts. He was given several collegiate offers and made a decision to attend Coastal Carolina in the fall.
The story doesn’t end there. In fact, it is still being written. Now the Major League scouts have taken notice and are nipping at his heels. When June 6th, the MLB draft, gets here the baseball world will likely hear the name of Dalton Moats being called.
This author is sure of one thing. The decision that is made will find Dalton Moats on the field learning his trade and never taking anything for granted.
His family raised him that way.