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.
I took a look at some of the batting leaders within the Cardinals organization and then I gathered their stats for the last 10 games they have played in.
The Cardinals have some very solid players coming through the system. Mike O’Neill and Anthony Garcia are smoking the ball at this time and look for a move up to the next level for each of them very soon.
Take a look and draw your own conclusions.
Mark “The Bird Fidrych: Eccentric Ballplayer
Mark Steven Fidrych born August 14, 1954 – April 13, 2009), nicknamed “The Bird”, was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched his entire career for the Detroit Tigers (1976–1980
The story goes that he was drafted as an amateur selection in 1974 and when he got the call he thought “drafted” meant he was going into the military. He received his nickname “The Bird” by one of his minor league coaches who thought with his 6’3” lanky frame and his hair being curly outside his cap the reminded him of the Sesame Street character.
Fans adore his eccentric behavior. On the mound he would crouch down, manicure the area to fix the cleat marks. Then he would talk to the baseball and hold it like a dart was about to be thrown. After every out he would strut around and several times he threw baseballs back to the umpire because they had “hits in them”.
In the 1974 amateur draft he was selected in the 10th round by the Detriot Tigers & later joked that when he got a call saying he had been drafted he thought he was drafted into the military not thinking there was any teams looking at him. In the minor leagues one of his coaches with the Lakeland Tigers dubbed the lanky 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher “The Bird” because of his resemblance to the “Big Bird” character of the 1970s Sesame Street television program
He also was known for shaking everyone’s hands after a game. On June 28, 1976, he pitched against the New York Yankees in a nationally televised game on ABC; the Tigers won the game 5-1. After a game filled with “Bird” antics in which he and his team handily defeated the Yankees, Fidrych became a national celebrity.
Tiger Stadium would be filled with “Bird Watchers” when Fidrych took the mound. He was a bit superstitious and wanted his own personal catcher for each start. This was the highlight of rookie catcher Bruce Kimm’s career as Mark wanted him behind the plate.
It became common to hear the crowd chant “we want the Bird, we want the Bird” at the end of each of his home victories. The chants would continue until he emerged from the dugout to tip his cap to the crowd. While these “curtain calls” have become more common in modern sports, they were not so in the mid-’70s baseball.
On the road teams were trying to get the Tigers to schedule his next start due to the large crowds that followed his every start. In fact, he started 18 games in Detroit that accounted for half of the season’s attendance. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice and graced several other ones. He was on the cover of The Sporting News.
With his league minimum salary, $16,500, he bought a green sub-compact car. When asked about the small car and his long frame, he responded, “ I bought it to fit my lifestyle, not my body.” He lived in a small apartment in Detroit and received thousands of fan mail letters and had troubled responded to all of them . He told reporters that if he wasn’t playing baseball, he would be pumping gas.
At the end of his rookie season, the Tigers gave him a $25,000 bonus and signed him to a three-year contract worth $255,000. Economists estimated that the extra attendance Fidrych generated around the league in 1976 was worth more than $1 million. Fidrych also did an Aqua Velva television commercial after the 1976 season.
One particular night on the mound he went behind it and began talking to the baseball as was his customary antic. Craig Nettles was the batter and he quickly jumped out of the batters’ box and began talking to his bat telling it that no matter what was said to the ball that bat should rule supreme. Fidrych struck Nettles out and he was heard to say,” Damn, I forgot I used a Japanese bat. I guess it never understood a word I said.”
Milestones and Facts to Keep You Warm Today
Here some facts that you may not have known. Some may appear surprising and then some may not. I am using Baseball Reference as my source for this information.
Most Assists in Career by Active Players
- Omar Vizquel 7953
- Miguel Tejada 6116
- Derek Jeter 6032
Most Putouts by Active Players in Career
- Todd Helton 17,531
- Derrek Lee 14,910
- Paul Konerko 14,446
Most Runs Scored – Active Players in Career
- Alex Rodriguez 1835
- Derek Jeter 1783
- Johnny Damon 1643
Most Base on Ball by Active Players for Career
- Jim Thome 1727
- Chipper Jones 1460
- Bobby Abreu 1421
Most Doubles by Active Players- Career
- Todd Helton 559
- Bobby Abreu 557
- Manny Ramirez 547
Most Triples in Career by Active Players
- Carl Crawford 112
- Johnny Damon 107
- Jose Reyes 101
That’s it for now, next week we will look at some of the career leaders among active players in the Pitching Categories
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Baseball is just as popular in 2011 as it was in 2010. Around the country there are tons of articles stating that the game of baseball is in a downward spiral. Are we talking about thousands upon thousands of fans not going to the games? At the end of the 2010 season ESPN reported that attendance was down 1% from the year before. Yes, 1% is miniscule when you are comparing over 73 million fans going to game.
According to a report it said that recently over 50% of American males have placed a bet on a sporting event in the last year. It stated that those that pay attention to the game of baseball can, if they are judicious, make money on baseball betting. They need to constantly check the baseball odds at BetUS for the latest before they place their bet.
Let’s look at the attendance for 2011 through July 1, 2011. Nine of the 30 teams have seen a rise in attendance from a comparable point last year. Now that sounds horrible, right? The dip in attendance across the entire major leagues is only 337 less attending games this year than last year. For more on that figures check out the figures for yourself from Baseball Reference.
Before I end this article allow me to tell you about my trip to the Field of Dreams in Dyersburg, Iowa.
Remember the words of Terence Mann in the movie?
Ray, people will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. “Of course, we won’t mind if you have a look around,” you’ll say. “It’s only twenty dollars per person.” They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack.
And they’ll walk out to the bleachers, and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as if they’d dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhhhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.
I drove to Iowa which is about 3-4 hours from my home. I felt compelled to go. They “they will come” line just kept creeping into my head. So one day one of my sons and I went there. On the day we went, we were the only one in attendance. It was in April and the corn was not in the fields and the place looked like what I built on my 20 acres years ago. A backstop, some bleachers and a whole lot of open area is what I made for my kids while they were growing up.
That is what baseball does to you. It gets you excited to see it and hear it and smell it and …..
I see no problem with major league baseball and an attendance problem. Many people are attending games, listening on radio, catching them on HD TV and check the baseball odds America’s Bookie for the latest. The game is not in a downhill spiral. No way, Jose.
PHOENIX (AP) – Shelby Miller’s joy at being a part of Sunday’s All-Star Futures game was tainted by the sorrow of the tragic death of a friend.
Shannon Stone, who fell to his death Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark while trying to catch a ball tossed into the stands last week, was a fellow firefighter and close friend of Miller’s father Mitch in Brownwood, Texas.
Shelby said he was speechless when he heard the news and had a hard time preventing it from affecting him as he prepared for his role for the U.S. team in Sunday’s Futures Game, which features the game’s leading minor league prospects.
“I can’t weep over it or do anything that’s going to keep me from performing well or something like that,” he said after his U.S. team’s 6-4 victory. “It’s definitely in the back of your mind. You think about it, and then you get down, and then you just try to forget about it and it’s not easy. It’s something I’m going to have to get through, me and my family are going to have to get through and the Stones are going to have to get through.”
Miller is a 20-year-old right-hander for Double-A Springfield, Mo., in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, has a fastball in the high 90s. St. Louis made him the 19th pick overall in the 2009 draft. He is 5-4 in 14 starts for Springfield with a 2.44 ERA, with 114 strikeouts and 28 walks.
Miller pitched a scoreless inning on Sunday, allowing one hit, striking out one and walking one. He said his parents were with the Stones family on Sunday but taped the game and planned to watch it later.
He remembered Stone as a great person and a great father to the 6-year-old boy who watched his dad fall to his death.
“We’ll get through it,” Miller said, “but right now it’s pretty tough.”
Nothing says America like baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.
With the Fourth of July upon us, America’s birthday has been home to many Major League Baseball milestones, moments, and, yes, birthdays. You could say baseball has provided plenty of fireworks over the years.
Not only that, but when it comes to war and our nation anthem—two things iconic with America—MLB bleeds red, white and blue.
- 3,000 not once, but twice–You’re kidding, right? The Fourth of July is the anniversary of many MLB highlights, including the 3,000th strikeout for Nolan Ryan and Phil Niekro
- So long, Lou–Every baseball fan has read, watched or listened to a clip of Lou Gehrig’s historic “Farewell Speech.” Ah, but did you know the New York Yankees great expressed he was the “luckiest man on the face of the earth” on July 4?
- Happy birthday, George–The New York Mets and Yankees have a few ties to the Fourth of July, as well. The late George Steinbrenner grew up blowing out candles on this day.
With liberty and justice for all–The Fourth of July isn’t just about the holiday itself. No, no—it’s much more than that. It’s about celebrating the this great nation of ours, past and present.
Unlike most professional leagues, MLB has been around for well over 100 years. And unlike other professional leagues, some of the greatest players to ever play had to miss valuable time on the diamond—and not because of injury. Christy Mathewson and Bob Feller just two of numerous players who sacrificed for this country.
Major League Baseball tell the story of Americana better than any.
Happy 4th of July to Everyone!
Hope you enjoy this feature:
- The Cardinals have started seven different third basemen, yet leads the NL in OPS at the position by a healthy margin.
- Major league teams have combined to produce 8.43 runs per game. According to STATS LLC, that is the lowest figure in more than 20 years.
- Braves farm hands have collected Player or Pitcher of the Week awards for 7 straight weeks.
- In 4 fewer games, Travis Wood has given up 9 more 1st inning runs than all of last year.
- Joey Votto has batted .328/.458/.493 over his last 18 games. The #Reds are just 5-13.
- Athletics also have third-worst OBP in AL.
- Danks first WhiteSox pitcher to lose first 8 decisions in one season since Eddie Smith opened 0-10 in ’42.
- Matt Garza has given up 2 four-pitch walks this year. Both to Joey Votto.
- Ethier and Kemp remain fourth and fifth, respectively, among NL outfielders in All-Star balloting.
- Troy Tulowitzki leads SS voting for All-Star game 1,409,806 votes to Jimmy Rollins’ 785,703.
- The Reds have made an out to end the game with the tying or go-ahead run at the plate 13 times this year.
- Pujols becomes third Cardinal player to win NL Player of the Week honors, Berkman did it twice.
The Cardinals start 2 series this week and they are each 2 game series.
What’s up with that? The cost of transportation needs to see a trend where the MLB goes to 4 or 5 game series the next time a schedule gets made.
Instead of Philadelphia coming into St Louis two times a year, get those done at at once. It is time for MLB go get with the environment and the energy kick and attempt to save some gas and some money.
Let’s at least investigate some ideas to cut down on the travelling each team does.
The Reds swept the series and now take over first place. We swept them last year so all in all not a surprise. We are fast approaching 25% of the season so it is a marathon not a sprint.
For the record I bought into most of what Cordero said after the game except for his “disrespect” of Gerald Laird, for that he needs to apologize.
Seriously? This is how MLB handles random drug testing?
Jaime Garcia pitched a masterpiece. Almost a perfect game and near a no-hitter.
People were saying he was dealing his stuff to the batters.
He gets the complete game shutout and everyone is happy. Media talks to him, players congratulate and he then meets up with a representative from Major League Baseball and he has a cup for Garcia to pee in.
Seriously? They don’t have a better procedure than that? They can’t get players before a game or well after the game? They have to slink into the dugout and take the life out of a young pitcher and his dominant game and wonder if he is doing drugs?
I am for testing. But minutes after the game? Bud Selig needs to get a better hold on this issue than that.
Oh wait, it was against the Milwaukee Brewers…. didn’t he once own that team?
Enough said. Now it all makes sense.